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Margaret hits all the right notes and raises £88,000 for refugees

We remain forever grateful to Margaret Fingerhut for her generous and hardworking tour and on line concert successfully raising more than £1,000 for each of the 88 keys on the piano for CoS UK and the Cos network. And big thanks too to Raghad Haddad, Peter Fisher and Sam Slatcher for their important contribution to the online concert.

Margaret’s mission to help refugees and people seeking asylum started last year when she played a series of 32 concerts all around the UK.

“More than simply raising money for refugees,” Margaret said, “I wanted to do something in the face of the rising tide of intolerance towards refugees. So, I came up with the idea of a programme where I would use the music and stories of famous composers to make a point about how important the role of migration has been in the history of classical music. The musical landscape would look very different today if composers had not been able to move country”.

“The idea of doing the livestream came out of the difficulties created by lockdown, and the impossibility of doing any more concerts. I joined forces with singer/songwriter Sam Slatcher, the Syrian viola player Raghad Haddad who now lives in Birmingham, violinist Peter Fisher and the Kurdish composer and oud player Arian Hu, now resident in Beijing.

We called the livestream ‘Let Us Be Together’, which was the title of the wonderful song by Sam Slatcher we all played at the end – a very appropriate title under the circumstances!”

The money raised has gone to City of Sanctuary UK, and the network of local groups around the country who are working across their communities to build a culture of welcome for refugees and asylum seekers. “The pandemic has hit many people hard,” Margaret said, “but none more so than people seeking asylum, many of whom have not been able to access the internet or even buy adequate food for their young families, let alone toiletries. It’s a heart-breaking situation”.

Arian Hu – formerly Moutaz Arian composed the Refugee Team Anthem for the 2016 Olympics. He also composed the beautiful and haunting “Memories of My Land for Margaret to play during her tour which is available to download from Margaret Fingerhut’s Bandcamp.  Thank you Arian!