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Local Orchestra to Perform Ukraine Charity Concert

Saturday 1st October 2022

Local Orchestra to Perform Ukraine Charity Concert

Chester Cathedral will play host to a special charity concert given by the Chester Philharmonic Orchestra to raise money for Ukraine on Saturday 1st October. The concert will feature Beethoven’s epic 9th Symphony (‘The Chorale’), and the orchestra will be joined by local singers from the Chester Music Society Choir, Manchester Chamber Choir, and St George’s Singers, Stockport. Vocal soloists Caroline Taylor, Nancy Holt, Martin Smauktelis and James Atkinson have all recently performed professionally, including appearances at Glyndebourne. We are delighted that special guests “Svitoch” Ukrainian Acapella Choir will be joining us to perform for the evening.

The charity concert, in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund, was conceived by local doctor and viola player James Warwick. James explains that “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put millions of children and families in immediate danger, as homes, schools, water supplies, and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed. In the face of this devastation, I thought there must be something we can do, and the orchestra agreed to approach the cathedral with the idea of a charity concert.”

The concert will be conducted by Stephen Threlfall, Artistic Director of Lake District Summer Music Festival, and one of the orchestra’s regular conductors. He says, “It’s been very exciting to see the way local musicians have responded to the Ukraine crisis. Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is particularly appropriate, because it includes the famous ‘Ode to Joy’, a poem about hope and human solidarity. We hope members of the public will come out to support this concert for such an important cause.”

The Dean of Chester, the Very Rev. Tim Stratford, adds that "The destruction of homes and lives in Ukraine that we have witnessed in news media over recent months is a tragedy with immense pain in its wake. Chester Cathedral is delighted to host this evening organised by talented local musicians, centred around the movement from darkness to light of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The concert is in tune with our gospel of peace as both an expression of hope and a means to raise funds for those who are left in need.”

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