Orchestras play on despite all odds in New Zealand, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Paraguay

Posted on: October 6, 2016

“Gretchen La Roche, the Chief Executive Officer of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, remembers exactly where she was at 12.51pm on February 22, 2011 … the moment an earthquake registering 6.3 on the Richter scale hit Christchurch,” New Zealand, writes Jo Litson in Monday’s (10/3) Limelight Magazine (Sydney, Australia). “The earthquake [caused] widespread damage…. Before long, the CSO was sending small ensembles out to play in suburban school halls and churches, moving some to tears.… [Japan’s] Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra … also knows what it is to regroup after a devastating natural disaster … the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. In October of that year … the Sendai and Christchurch orchestras … held a joint performance in Sendai…. [In Baghdad] many members of the Iraq National Symphony Orchestra have left. But its Chief Conductor Karim Wasfi … stays on to keep the orchestra going and train young musicians…. Sandstone Press published a book by Scottish-born conductor Paul MacAlindin called Upbeat, telling the story of the five years he spent establishing and running the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq…. 19-year old Negin Khpalwak … leads the Zohra Orchestra, an ensemble of 35 women at the Afghanistan National Institute for Music.… The children in The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura in Paraguay play instruments made from recycled rubbish.”

Posted October 6, 2016