The sheer audacity of IPPNW Concerts is breathtaking. In partnership with the Berlin Philharmonic Society they have booked the famous Philharmonie Hall in Berlin, and have persuaded a distinguished line-up of musicians including Grammy winning baritone Thomas Quasthoff, and the orchestra of the Hanns Eisler Academy to donate their services. The programme is movingly appropriate, Gustav Mahler's lament for dead children Kindertotenlieder, and Franz Schubert's Octet D803 played by the Scharoun Ensemble of Berlin. Preceeding these will be a reading from the best-selling book by Belarus author Swetlana Alexijewitsch titled Tschernobyl - Eine Chronik der Zukunft (Chernobyl - a chronicle of the future).
The concert is a fundraiser for two totally appropriate causes. The Lower Saxony Fund for the Children of Chernobyl (Kinder von Tschernobyl-Stiftung des Landes Niedersachsen) funds early recognition and treatment of thyroid illness among Chernobyl survivors, while Homeland Chernobyl (Heimstatt Tschernobyl e.V) helps resettle displaced families in environmentally friendly housing in the Chernobyl area.
Among the guests at the concert will be twenty young people from the Belarus town of Gomel which was badly affected by the radioactive fallout from nearby Chernobyl. Also attending will be a lady from Kiev whose technician husband died in the disaster. This guest had arranged to bring her young son to Berlin, but last week he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, probably as a consequence of radiation from the accident.
Benefizkonzert zum 20. Jahrestag der Reaktorkatastrophe in Tschernobyl is the latest fundraising project in the twenty-two year history of IPPNW Concerts. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) is a non-partisan international grouping of medical organisations dedicated to the abolition of the nuclear threat. They work with the long-term victims of nuclear explosions and accidents from Hiroshima to Chernobyl. Their work has been recognised with the 1984 UNESCO Peace Prize, and 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. Their concert in Berlin is an extraordinarily appropriate way to mark this terrible anniversary. I know all the readers On An Overgrown Path will join me in sending best wishes for a successful, and financially beneficial, evening.
* Your donation matters. All funds sent through IPPNW Concerts' donation account will be tranferred to the two benefiting charities. To make a donation contact IPPNW via this link.
* Full details (in German) of the concert at 8.00pm in the Philharmonie Hall in Berlin via this link, and tickets can be booked online here. German resorces can be translated by Babel Fish Translation.
* Watch a video podcast (29.4MB) of an interview (in German) with IPPNW Concerts founder Dr Peter Strauber from the Berlin Philharmonic website via this link.
Images from Kinder von Tschernobyl - Stiftung des Landes Niedersachsen. Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
If this post struck a chord take An Overgrown Path to Terry Riley - Requiem for Adam