We find ourselves in a unique time in history, a time that doesn’t allow us to be together in-person during Holy Week. But I’m grateful that so many of us are staying home, staying safe and, in doing so, keeping each other safe. We are united in this effort and in this moment. I want to take this time to acknowledge and honor the sacrifices and courage of those who work every day taking care of their communities in this time of need and uncertainty.
Mariah Carey performs a medley of “Through The Rain” and “Make It Happen” for Rise Up New York! The Robin Hood Relief Benefit. Hosted by Tina Fey, the virtual telethon’s one common goal: To raise funds for New Yorkers whose lives have been devastated by COVID-19. 100 percent of funds raised will provide support for food, shelter, cash assistance, health and mental health, legal services, education and more – helping fellow New Yorkers rebuild their lives as the city moves towards recovery and beyond. Learn more about Robin Hood’s response to the pandemic and donate today: https://www.robinhood.org/#ThroughTheRain#MakeItHappen#NY4NY
Mariah performs “Close My Eyes,” a deep cut from her 1997 album Butterfly, on Good Morning America (8/19). Read more about the personal meaning of this song in her upcoming memoir: The Meaning of Mariah Carey. Pre-order THE RARITIES album: mariahcarey.lnk.to/Rarities Pre-order THE MEANING OF MARIAH CAREY: themeaningofmariahcarey.com/
As concert halls continue to close due to coronavirus, live streaming of performances will provide welcome access for music lovers worldwide. The iconic Royal Albert Hall in London has just announced its closure, with more UK venues expected to follow. Meanwhile in Hungary, the innovative composer and conductor, Maestro Ivan Fischer, has created a brilliant new concert series in response to this worldwide musical shutdown. The chamber concerts are broadcast live and free to view online while COVID-19 forces music lovers to stay at home. The Maestro and his Budapest Festival Orchestra launched “Quarantine Soirees” on 16 March 2020 and the chamber music concerts will continue nightly online at 7:45 pm (Central European time).
Maestro Ivan Fischer of the Budapest Festival Orchestra
The Maestro says that while we’re at home during this difficult time we “need music, especially chamber music because this is not the time for orchestra music concerts.” Every evening members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra will give a concert from their rehearsal studio. The concerts are free but the BFO also hope that the public will be able to support musicians whose livelihoods are now at risk and their website includes a link for voluntary donations.
Last night’s concert presented live from the BFO’s rehearsal room, featured music by Saint-Saens and Villa-Lobos, plus Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op.19 and traditional Hungarian folk music. Tonight (17 March 2020) the members of the orchestra will perform Mozart’s Concert Rondeau in E-Flat Major and a clarinet quintet along with Schumann’s piano quintet in E-Flat Major. These nightly concerts will continue while permitted. Other forthcoming evening concerts in the series will include pieces by Beethoven, Hadyn and Schubert, plus Hungarian contemporary composer Gyorgy Orban’s wonderful and uplifting “Ball Music.”
It’s no surprise that these special concerts were the idea of Maestro Fischer as he is well known for bringing his music to audiences that are often excluded. Every season he and the orchestra organise two Community Weeks during which the orchestra’s chamber ensembles play in nursing homes, child-care institutions, schools, prisons, churches and synagogues. And for the past five years he and his orchestra have organised the extremely popular annual Dancing on the Square, where hundreds of children from underprivileged areas of Hungary dance together at a free, open-air event. Last June they danced to Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony which Fischer says “was considered the music of freedom, especially because of the continuous, uplifting pulsation of the last movement.”
I’ve been writing on travel, food, fashion and culture for the past decade or so for a variety of publications. I also work as an art consultant with James Payne, with whom I opened PayneShurvell, a contemporary art gallery in London. My photographer partner Paul Allen supplies the photos for my features that often include a music or art event and our travels have taken us to under the radar music and art festivals in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. I am the co-author of the Citysketch series of books that includes London, Paris and New York, published by Race Point and I’m the author of Fantastic Forgeries: Paint Like Van Gogh. Follow our adventures on Twitter at @jshurvell and on Instagram at @joshurvell and @andfotography
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