A YOUNG student at the Academy of Fine Arts, Mária Vaculová, felt the urge to help people in disaster-stricken Japan and to express solidarity in some way. Together with the parsonage of the Big Evangelical Church, the platform of Kresťania v meste (Christians in the City) and support from the American and Japanese Embassies, she organised a benefit concert on April 1 in the 2,000-seat Big Evangelical Church that raised almost €5,000 in voluntary contributions.
The programme began with a minute of silence for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, followed by performances by musicians Martin Valihora, Oskar Rózsa, Eugen Vizváry and Anita Soul and their groups. Valihora said he had previously toured in Japan and felt personal grief. Afterwards, the Japanese ambassador to Slovakia, Yoshio Nomoto, expressed his gratitude to the performers and audience. The ZOE Christian Chamber Orchestra performed Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, followed by the Hope Gospel Singers performing several gospels tunes such as He’s Able. Mária Čírová pleased visitors with her very timely song O pomoc volám (I Call for Help) as well as singing Amazing Grace, one of the concert’s highlights. Concert-goers were encouraged to send additional money and personal greetings through the Slovak Red Cross.
On April 20, the City Theatre of P.O. Hviezdoslav staged another Concert for Japan, as a culmination of its 100 Hours for Japan series that lasted from April 16 to April 20 and drew much attention with an imitation sakura tree in the middle of Laurinská Street. The final concert presented Japanese musicians playing Japanese composers as well as Lehár and Bach. The Slovak folklore ensemble SĽUK and Capella Istropolitana completed the programme. The admission price was a voluntary contribution.
25. Apr 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff