American pianist Mark Damisch, who has played all around the world to encourage peace and raise funds for charitable causes, will perform two concerts in Iceland on July 19 and 20 to show solidarity with Icelanders who are suffering because of the economic crisis.
Photo courtesy of northshoremag.com with permission from Mark Damisch.
“Iceland is going through a tough time. This is a good opportunity for an American performer to come and play music to help bring our two countries together and for America to show Iceland that we want to stand with you,” Damisch told icelandreview.com.
“We are bringing a program which combines an American composer, Gershwin, with a number of French composers, to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the liberation of France from fascism. After Iceland, we will spend over three weeks on tour in France.”
Last summer, Damisch played concerts in Egypt, Jordan and Israel to support efforts for peace in the Middle East.
Damisch first performed in Iceland in 1975, in a concert for NATO/United States troops in Keflavík. “I returned with my wife in 1983 for three to four days and found it fascinating. I am excited about returning to Iceland,” Damisch said.
“I am looking forward to the Blue Lagoon, which I have never seen, riding Icelandic horses and taking a tour to Geysir and Thingvellir. I have been pestering my 19- and 14-year-old girls about how wonderful Iceland is, with young people so full of life and a terrain unlike any other place in the world. We can’t wait to get there.”
The first concert takes place in Dómkirkjan cathedral in Reykjavík at 5 pm on July 19 and the second in the Nordic House at 8 pm on July 20. The program includes the music of Gershwin, Chopin, Debussy and Beethoven. Entrance is free.
“We hope that you will enjoy the program,” Damisch said. As the program of his first tour in 1975 stated, “Our prayer is that people everywhere will learn from each other’s differences, heal each other’s wounds, promote each other’s progress and benefit from each other’s mistakes.”
The Reykjavík concerts are sponsored by the United States Embassy in Iceland, Dómkirkjan and the Nordic House.
Click here to watch a video of Mark Damisch.