A Happy New Year to you all. I wish you joy, happiness, and peace.
As it’s the beginning of the year, I want to highlight something special, and with the war still raging in Ukraine, this wonderful, heart-warming project offers a positive start to 2023.
The internationally acclaimed concert pianist Margaret Fingerhut is known for her innovative recital programmes in which she explores lesser-known piano repertoire. Margaret’s distinguished career has taken her all over the world, and her numerous recordings have received much critical acclaim and won many accolades.
In 2019, she undertook a major recital tour, performing a programme called “Far from the Home I Love” at 32 venues across the UK to raise money for refugees and asylum seekers. Her specially created programme of words and music gave a cultural context to the theme of migration. Margaret raised a total of £88,000 – which is £1,000 for every piano key – and she was presented with a ‘Champion of Sanctuary’ award by City of Sanctuary UK in recognition of her humanitarian work.
Margaret’s grandfather was born in Odesa in Ukraine, and she has always felt a proud connection with the country. She has recently collaborated with Viktoriia Levchenko, a young filmmaker from Ukraine, to create a short, powerful video called ‘Ukraine will rise again!’
The video features a stirring piano piece played by Margaret and written by Ukrainian composer Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952). Bortkiewicz wrote Les Rochers d’Outche-Coche in 1908 after he was inspired by the mountain scenery in Crimea. The music conjures up the awe and beauty of the landscape, and Viktoriia has matched it with a series of extraordinary images, including powerful footage of the devastation caused by the war. The result is a moving and uplifting video.
Margaret is raising funds for British-Ukrainian Aid, a charity that sends vital supplies such as ambulances, first aid kits, and portable generators. It also assists the victims of the war: orphanages, schools, the elderly, and internally displaced people.
You can watch the video by clicking on the link below. If you are able, please consider supporting this worthwhile cause.
For more information and to donate, click here: www.justgiving.com/Margaret-Fingerhut
Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.
For more information, please visit the publications page, here.