In late September, Sri Lanka’s leading classical music ensemble, the Chamber Music Society of Colombo (CMSC), presented a concert for violin and piano performed by renowned virtouso violinist Midori, in partnership with critically-acclaimed Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute.
Midori is patron of the CMSC’s newly-established Education Fund, a wing of the organisation set up specifically to provide high-level tuition to musicians from financially-disadvantaged backgrounds. The concert – a gracious gift from the star musician to the people of Sri Lanka – was designed in large part to inaugurate the fund, as well as raise essential capital.
A global cultural ambassador and dedicated music educator in her own right, Midori has a long-standing reputation in the sphere of charitable music education, especially in the United States and across Asia. This was reflected in the notable diversity of sponsors of the concert, ranging from The Sir Adrian Swire Charitable Trust to The East India Co. (Pvt) Ltd. and the embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Including sonatas by Fauré, Debussy and Brahms, as well as Brahms’ ‘Sonatensatz’, Debussy’s Beau Soir, and Fauré Les Berceaux, the tonal sobriety of the repertoire was not without a certain resonance. In a program message to the audience, Midori wrote that ‘music can be a means of offering solace for the tragedies that have befallen this remarkable country,’ and that it can ‘nourish us in invaluable ways…. We especially look to the young, to nurturing them in their innocence, knowing that music can help bring out the best in all people, and thus lead to better days.’
The concert was described as ‘world-class’ and ‘extraordinary’ in the Sri Lankan press, and the performers came off to a standing ovation from the Colombo audience.
The Society’s next concert, on Saturday 19th October, will be Fauré’s Requiem, in remembrance of the victims of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks this year. The performance will be conducted by Gregory Rose, with soloists Anagi Perera (soprano) and Harin Amirthanathan (baritone). Collection and all proceeds will go to the Easter Sunday Disaster Relief Fund of the archdiocese of Colombo.