Spokesman Gary Cicinskas said: “The Portsmouth concert, arranged by ArtReach, the producer of Journeys Festival International, is part of the city’s latest bid to be formally recognised as a City of Sanctuary, joining other cities with the same title such as Plymouth, Bristol and Cheltenham, with almost 100 locations across the UK already recognised as a place of sanctuary.”
The Rev Canon Peter Leonard, of Portsmouth Cathedral, 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, playing 25 concerts over the coming year. She has waived all fees in the hope of raising much needed funds for City of Sanctuary organisations across the UK.”
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.
“My concert tells the stories in words and music about some of these composers. Their stories truly resonate with the current troubling attitudes towards refugees and those in exile. The programme I have devised is by no means just sad!
“The music I have chosen is also uplifting, happy, even humorous, as well as dramatic, heroic and virtuoso. I’m going to be playing popular pieces by Chopin, Grieg, Handel, Haydn, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov.”
Tickets can be purchased in advance from Portsmouth Cathedrals Facebook page or by searching Eventbrite for Far From The Home I Love.