21 March 2011: The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, supported by Askonas Holt Ltd and Southbank Centre, announced today that its London concert is to be a benefit event for the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March. The entire proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund, both of which are distributing aid to help people in the affected areas.
The London concert is part of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra’s 50th anniversary tour this May under the baton of its longtime Principal Conductor Tadaaki Otaka with a programme of Takemitsu’s How low the Wind, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No 1 in G minor – with celebrated Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai – and Shostakovich’s Symphony No 5 in D minor.
Tadaaki Otaka commented: “It was an unforeseen and terrible disaster, from which all Japanese people are working extremely hard to recover. We, the musicians, wish to turn our London appearance into a charity concert in aid of the vital relief efforts in our country. Please join us and help Japan.”
Toshio Miyazawa, General Manager of the Orchestra added: “Japan has faced the most disastrous earthquake ever experienced, and we would like to express our sincere appreciation to people in the UK and all over the world for their encouragement and sympathy. With the goodwill of all people concerned, our London concert is now a benefit event for the victims. We appeal to music lovers to support us in this; with deepest gratitude for their generosity, we will perform our very best.”
Not only is this a rare opportunity for London audiences to hear one of Japan’s leading orchestras, they can now show their support for the people of Japan tragically affected by this huge natural disaster.