A symphony has been written to help cure cancer – and it comes with a very powerful ending

6 June 2019, 15:59 | Updated: 8 June 2019, 12:18

By Helena Asprou

This mesmeric piece of music hopes to make a real difference to people’s lives — but it’s not what you might think...

It has been announced today that the Institute of Cancer Research, London and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have teamed up to write a piece of music in a bid to raise money for a revolutionary new cancer research building.

Entitled ‘Let’s Finish It’, the composition is a melodic symphony, but it comes with a unique twist – it’s been left deliberately unfinished. Around three-quarters of the way through the track and just before the symphony reaches its peak, it abruptly cuts to silence.

The sudden finish symbolises the unfinished state of the building – also known as ‘The Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery’ – and the ongoing need to find new cancer cures.

Written by composer, conductor and pianist Callum Huseyin, the enchanting piece is available to listen to on Soundcloud and will only be completed when the £15m needed to finish the research centre has been raised.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Recording "Good Vibrations"

It will then become the official anthem for the Centre, which will see hundreds of scientists come together to lead a programme that aims to overcome cancer’s ability to resist drugs and effectively cure the disease.

Speaking about his commission, 25-year-old Callum said: “I am immensely proud to work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on this fundraising campaign to finish this incredibly important building.

“I was inspired by the stories of all of the amazing professionals who work tirelessly and ingeniously to defeat cancer, and the music reflects the promise of the building in which they will do so. Just as in my music, there are ominous moments in the journey to defeat cancer but I look forward to writing the triumph of hope and innovation.

“However, the apex of that final crescendo is not yet within reach – I’m eager to return to the studio and write a rousing ending to celebrate reaching the building’s funding goal. This music comes out of the inspiring stories of all those working hard to end cancer, and together we can finish it.”

Dr. Olivia Rossanese, who will be Head of Biology in the ICR’s Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery, added: “There will be no other cancer research building like this in the world. We’ll have computational biologists, geneticists, evolutionary scientists and drug discovery researchers all working hand-in-hand in an unprecedented way to find new treatments that can overcome cancer evolution and drug resistance.

“It has the potential to completely change everything we thought we knew about cancer treatment, but firstly, it needs to be finished. The unfinished symphony beautifully highlights the importance of raising the final £15m so we can get to work on this exciting new area of research.”

Find out more about how you can donate to the ICR here.