Refugees welcomed at BYP Hanover concert

About 100 refugees from Syria, Iran and Afghanistan joined the audience at Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic’s special Welcome Concert in Hanover on 17 September. Kristjan Järvi made the invitation personally as a gesture of solidarity and inclusion towards the newcomers.

Earlier in the month, he set up a Welcome Concert with MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra. His own family left Estonia in 1980, when it was part of the former Soviet Union, as refugees, and was able to settle in the US with support from a benefactor. He explained why it is important for the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic to show its support in the current emergency: ‘This crisis is man-made and only we humans can solve it. We wanted to welcome and comfort the many around us who have been forced to leave their homelands. Music shows us the power of diverse people working together to create a strong society. This is what BYP stands for, and we wanted to reassure the refugees that they can be part of our society and that there is safety and hope for them in Europe.’

The programme for the concert at the NDR Sendesaal in Hanover included works by composers from the Baltic Sea region Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Arvo Pärt, Wojciech Kilar and Imants Kalniņš, and Hyeyoon Park performed Camille Saint-Saëns’s Third Violin Concerto. The event will be broadcast on NDR Radio later this year and was the fifth concert of BYP’s 9-city tour of Germany, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and Poland.