Berlin Phil to give Haiti benefit concert

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle and pianist Mitsuko Uchida will give a UNICEF benefit concert for children in Haiti.

All proceeds from the concert, which will take place on Saturday 20 February, will be donated to UNICEF’s emergency assistance in Haiti. The concert will also be broadcast live online via the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall.

As a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, the Berlin Philharmonic immediately felt it should do something to alleviate the terrible suffering of children in Haiti.

In a roundtable discussion on YouTube, Mitsuko Uchida says that musicians are given the gift of great music and should use this gift to invite people to donate to worthy causes. Both she and Sir Simon Rattle emphasise Haiti’s need for aid even before the earthquake struck last month.

Watch the roundtable discussion video on YouTube

As well as tackling the immediate priorities of reuniting children with their parents and providing them with clean water, UNICEF has many long-term aims. Simon Rattle says that the people of Haiti will need spiritual help and that music as ‘the international language’ will have a role to play in ‘bringing people together, finding lost voices’ and ‘making people feel that they are not alone’.

UNICEF Benefit Concert for Haiti

Saturday 20 February 2010
7pm UK Time

Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor
Mitsuko Uchida, Piano

György Ligeti:San Francisco Polyphony
Ludwig van Beethoven:Piano Concerto No.4
Jean Sibelius:Symphony No.2

Watch the broadcast live at the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall