World-famous Russian conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy believes deeply in the European Project and his own experiences escaping from Russia has left him committed to peace and democracy. As he explained in a recent interview in the Observer Newspaper, musicians to strive to keep up British links with Europe in the face of Brexit, and spoke passionately about his continued faith in European culture (see full article here). It is these values that have led the Maestro to commit supporting our Europaeum Music and Peace commemoration project – which may now be launched at the University of Helsinki early next year, following current discussions between the University and our project co-ordinator, Ken Asch. The overall aim is still to offer concerts with the Maestro conductor hosted at each partner university willing to collaborate, where appropriate funding can be secured, over 2018-19 – marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. A Helsinki launch also to mark 100 years of Finnish independence has moved nearer – and also a ‘rehearsal’ showcase event in Oxford. The aims remain to involve Europaeum graduates, a local orchestra, and leading local figures. Overall, our project reinforces a belief in the European Project, as outlined in the interview, currently under threat from so many quarters, most recently from BrExit – despite bringing six decades of peace.
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