Take sanctuary in the classics

Renowned pianist Margaret Fingerhut is performing a concert at Portsmouth's Anglican Cathedral on February 4, 2019, to fundraise for the City of Sanctuary initiative. Picture by Andy Tyler Photography
Renowned pianist Margaret Fingerhut is performing a concert at Portsmouth's Anglican Cathedral on February 4, 2019, to fundraise for the City of Sanctuary initiative. Picture by Andy Tyler Photography
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INTERNATIONALLY renowned pianist Margaret Fingerhut is set to play a charity fundraiser at Portsmouth’s Anglican Cathedral on Monday, February 4 at 7.30pm.

The concert, arranged by ArtReach (the team behind Journeys Festival International), is part of the city’s bid to be formally recognised as a City of Sanctuary, joining others already with the same title such as Plymouth, Bristol and Cheltenham.

The nationwide charity City of Sanctuary holds the vision that our nations will be welcoming places of safety for all and proud to offer sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution.

The Reverend Canon Peter Leonard said: ‘It’s wonderful that Margaret Fingerhut, a truly gifted pianist, is prepared to donate all of her time for free to raise funds as part of this national tour. We’re really looking to build on the work done locally by the British Red Cross and its partners, and the more recent inspiration provided by the ArtReach-led Journeys Festival International in the city. We’re encouraging a broad and collaborative call to action. The organisations involved aim to cultivate a strong culture of welcome, making Portsmouth a hospitable place for all.’

Margaret Fingerhut is regarded as one of the UK’s most distinguished pianists. She has devised this special programme called Far From The Home I Love which she is taking on a national tour. She has waived all her fees for the charity.

Margaret said: ‘My grandparents settled here from the Ukraine, Poland and Ireland, so I have always been passionate about helping the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, never more so than today, given the climate of increasing hatred, intolerance and hostility. I wanted to find some unique way of raising awareness as well as funds for refugees, so I was very excited to come up with this idea. It struck me that many of the world’s greatest composers had to move from their homeland, either because of war or fear of persecution, or they simply migrated for their work.

Claire Woollard, producer for JFI added: ‘We’ve been working to bring local communities and members of refugee communities together, to create a welcoming festival for everyone. It’s incredible to imagine our work with local partners such as the Red Cross, the cathedral and University of Portsmouth will lead into becoming an established City of Sanctuary.’

Tickets cost £10, Doors open 7.10pm. Go to portsmouthcathedral.org.uk.