Report on our Halifax event
About 100 Ukrainian refugees (some with small children) arrived in St. Andrew’s Church in Halifax this evening to enjoy the music of Bach and Chopin, gifted by the Looking at the Stars foundation.
A short presentation about our Ukrainian projects and a demo of “Chopin in Irpin” trailer was immediately followed by a Ukrainian national anthem sung emotionally and enthusiastically by everyone in the beautiful hall.
Then for about one hour one could hear the pin drop and dozens of hearts beat during the brilliant performance of the pianist Walter Delahunt.
A wonderful and grateful audience. A deeply emotional and successful event – to be remembered.
Special thanks to Peter J Lambert for moderating it, to Polina Kogan for organizing it , to Mychol Scully and Derek St. Dennis for technically supporting it.
We agreed to return to Halifax next Spring.
The Great Dmitry Sitkovetsky joins our Lithuania Fall Series
We are delighted to announce that worldwide renowned “renaissance man and a magnetic personality,” violinist, conductor, and educator Dmitry Sitkovetsky is joining our Lithuanian Fall series together with our old friend and featured artist, internationally acclaimed pianist, Lukas Geniušas. They will present a Program at the women’s prison in the Lithuanian city of Panevezys.
Talented Young Canadian Virtuoso Pianist, Tony Yang Performs in Lithuanian Series October 4 – 6, 2022
CANADIAN CHARITY GIFTS CHOPIN to IRPIN
Lithuanian pianist Darius Mazintas , Artistic Director of Looking at the Stars Canadian Foundation (lookingatthestars.org) performs Chopin’s Nocturnes in front of the ruined House of Culture in the city of Irpin, Ukraine earlier this morning.
The barbarians have destroyed the HOUSE, but failed to destroy the CULTURE.
Photos: Margarita Steinberg
RECLAMATION Trailer Now Online
We’re thrilled to share this trailer from our newest video project, RECLAMATION. This documentary features parolee, James Ruston, who shares his sometimes heart-breaking but also uplifting experiences as a convict in the Canadian Federal penal system. The production is supported with amazing performances by Philip Chiu, piano, Barry Shiffman, violin and viola, and Cameron Crozman, cello. You can read all about it here.
This production is the first in a planned series of portraits of inmates and parolees who have experienced classical music performances at Looking at the Stars events.
The generous support of donors like you, without any institutional, corporate or government funding, enables us to operate. We need it in order to continue creating these documentaries and sharing these stories. Please visit our donation management partner, CanadaHelps. Thank you for your time and attention.
Beaver Creek Minimum Institution on November 9
The return to Beaver Creek Minimum after more than 2 years of forced absence was extremely successful. There was a friendly and hospitable reception by the Warden and his management team (all present throughout the event). About 35 socially distanced inmates greeted our new young performers, violinist Aaron Schwebel and cellist Drew Comstock, with several standing ovations. Only one inmate was a newcomer – the rest were our familiar audience. The performers were on a roll – they came extremely well prepared, taking the time to introduce each of the very colourful pieces they presented. Their performance was highly emotional, powerful and professional – a truly inspirational, professional and promising debut by a capable young duo! Their presentation was a breath of fresh air in the gym and filled everyone with optimism for a better future. Photos will follow as soon as CSC reviews and approves them for release.
Maestro Gidon Kremer performs to standing ovation at Bath Institution
Our Honorary President, Maestro Gidon Kremer, was met with a standing ovation by a crowd of about 90 inmates in Bath Medium Security Institution on Monday, November 1, 2021.
Kremer, who forgot his music in the suitcase in the car, noticed it only a few minutes before entering the prison gym and put some pressure on us all. Fortunately, the problem was successfully resolved, but the Event started 30 minutes late… As soon as Kremer entered the gym, a roaring ovation almost knocked him and his quintet off their feet. Maestro Kremer became extremely talkative and was in very good spirits, offering genuine warmth and love to his audience. The roaring ovation was delivered promptly and powerfully after each piece.
Following the encore, he thanked the audience for their exceptional listening and attention during the event. “I will miss you and I am wishing you all well and hope to see you again soon,” he said to the grateful audience before leaving. It seemed to me that they were having a personal conversation, focused on their shared musical experience.
Here’s a short exchange between Kremer and an inmate during a question period:
Inmate: What is the difference between the fiddle and the violin?
Kremer: Excellent question (pauses, then grins). Well, I think that fiddler fiddles and violinist plays!
It was the Maestro’s second historic performance in a Canadian prison. Photos, taken by CSC, are being reviewed by their communications department and hopefully will reach us soon.
P.O. Box 43507
1601 Bayview Avenue
Charitable Registration No.
77958 5298 RR0001