Talented performers support Ukraine

Cellists of Otago perform at the Dunedin Town Hall yesterday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Cellists of Otago perform at the Dunedin Town Hall yesterday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON

Concert for Ukraine Dunedin Symphony Orchestra
City Choir Dunedin and guests
Dunedin Town Hall
Sunday, July 17

REVIEWED BY MARIAN POOLE

Marian Poole
Marian Poole
A capacity audience gave generously to the Benefit Concert for Ukraine staged in the Dunedin Town Hall yesterday afternoon - to the tune of more than $13,000.

It was a great achievement for a Dunedin audience and for the many artists - and master of ceremonies Peter Hayden - who donated time and talent to those in peril.

One wonders when giving peace a chance will actually work against the tyrants of the world but solidarity among citizens is paramount for sustaining hope.

There were many highlights of the evening which proved again that Dunedin has a wealth in talent.

Andrew Perkins’ lament Sacred Grove for solo cello played by Helene du Plessis, inspired by a visit to Baghdad, set the mood; Cara Knudsen, a multi-talented musician and her two compositions of eerie art music; Nelson’s Cello Song, performed by the 12 Cellos; the trio Cafe Operana Lois Johnson, Helen Webby and Sophia Bidwell for their performance of Bjork’s It’s All So Quiet and for raising a singalong from the audience; the heartfelt talk by local Ukrainian Alina Polkova telling of her concern for her family back home; the members of Shona Bennett School of Dance for navigating a confined space with elegance and vigour; the performances by the City Choir Dunedin and Dunedin Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of David Burchell of John Rutter’s Ukrainian Prayer, and Peteris Vask’s Dona Nobis Pacem; the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra performance of Elgar’s Nimrod#9 and of course the finale - Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from his 9th Symphony.

All the pieces and artists deserve to be singled out for greater praise.

We all sincerely hope that this effort to raise spirits across the globe has not fallen on deaf ears in Russia, or wherever perpetrators of evil and those devoid of empathy lurk.

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