There is no better way to mark the onset of spring than with an evening of music. To my delight, I was recently invited to a magnificent charity concert at the Residence of the Russian Ambassador, in honour of the Nadezda children’s fund.
The star of the show was the 14-year-old Swedish-born violinist Daniel Lozakovitj. A truly prodigious musician, Daniel took up the violin at the age of six and was already playing in Maestro Vladimir Spivakov’s Moscow Virtuosi Orchestra only three years later. To have achieved this level of mastery at such a young age is quite extraordinary. Last night, his talent utterly captivated the audience. I was particularly taken by Daniel’s heartfelt rendition of Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, a work based on themes from Bizet's opera.
The main purpose of the evening was to raise funds for the Nadezda children’s charity in Russia, for whom I recently had the pleasure of hosting a gala at the Gallery. One of the fund’s main goals is to provide gifted children with the means to realise their artistic potential. When you witness the brilliance of talented young people like Daniel, you understand the power that art and music can have in shaping the character of our children. In order to encourage children in this direction, I believe that the work of charities like Nadezda is essential.
It was a privilege to meet Ambassador Yakovenko and his wife Nana once again. The hospitality of the organisers was unrivalled. After the concert, guests were treated to canapés in the Winter Garden of the Residence, where, I am told, Winston Churchill himself used to enjoy the odd glass of vodka!