Our Founding Artist, Lukas Geniušas, presents a sublime performance recently in Genoa. We appreciate Lukas’ continuing support of Looking at the Stars Foundation.
On January 11, 2021, our 5th Anniversary Celebration Video Concert made its debut at Bath Medium Institution, where Looking at the Stars presented its first ever live classical music gift to Correctional Service Canada five years ago. This international production, featuring our Founding Artist, Lukas Geniušas, includes an introduction by former inmate, James Ruston, and closing remarks by our Founder and CEO, Dmitri Kanovich. We wish to extend our sincere gratitude to Warden Ryan Beattie, Assistant Warden Gordon Zuber, the institution’s Information Technology team, and everyone who cooperated to make this presentation available to the prisoners at Bath.
This is the first in a series of video concert presentations that will be presented at a number of Correctional Service Canada institutions over the coming weeks and months. Although current COVID-19 restrictions prohibit us from organizing more of our previous live concert presentations for the foreseeable future, we hope that this video concert presentation, and others we hope to create in the year ahead, will serve to bring a glimmer of hope and dignity to those who suffer the double isolation of incarceration and pandemic protocols.
[UPDATE] We have received more than a dozen written responses from prisoners at Bath Medium Institution who attended these first screenings of our 5th Anniversary Celebration Video Concert. We were particularly moved by this one.
Like most not-for-profit organizations in Canada at this time, our ability to raise funds to support our work has been severely constrained. If you would like to assist us with the funding requirements to produce these alternative video concert presentations, please consider making a donation on our CanadaHelps donation page or visit our GoFundMe project. Your support is essential to the success of our mission.
We are unique. We gift Classical Music to those who need it most and expect it least. We are not pursuing photo opportunities. We are committed to bring dignity and hope to our audiences on a regular basis. Since 2015 we have gifted 49 classical music concerts to almost 3,500 inmates of federal correctional institutions & 1500 residents of long term care institutions in Canada. Our performers include internationally acclaimed musicians such as virtuoso violinist Maestro Gidon Kremer, pianist Lukas Geniušas, Chamber Soloists of The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, violinists Jonathan Crow, Barry Shiffman, cellist Joseph Johnson and others.
If you love classical music and are compassionate, this unusual video presentation may inspire you.
Dmitri Kanovich, Chairman, Founder and CEO
Looking at the Stars Foundation
Our Founder and CEO, Dmitri Kanovich, was invited to speak with Meghan Booth about the motivation and effects of our work with Looking at the Stars in federal prisons in Canada.
Bravo to our Founding Artist, Lukas Geniušas , for his live stream performance at the 16th International Music Festival “Chopin and his Europe,” on the same stage in Warsaw, Poland, where he won Silver ten years ago in the Chopin International Competition. Looking at the Stars is humbled and honoured by Lukas’ continuing commitment to the Foundation’s mission.
As we approach the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Looking at the Stars Foundation, we are compelled to take stock of the work we have done in this relatively brief time. As we pivoted from presenting our classical music gifts to seniors’ homes and long-term care facilities to delivering world-class classical music recitals to prison audiences, we have gifted 39 classical music concerts to more than 3,500 prisoners in Canadian federal institutions.
Recently our contributions to the rehabilitation of federal prison populations were acknowledged by Correctional Service Canada (CSC) Commissioner Anne Kelly. We are in regular contact with CSC staff and our audience, and we are planning to continue our program this Fall. Please stay tuned as these opportunities develop. We look forward to continuing our Mission to affirm the humanity of prisoners and bring hope to those who may not have much.
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“Music is something that spreads positive emotions. I think music is something that can give warmth to everyone in trouble, in prison or not in prison,” said 72-year-old Kremer. “I’m happy to have been here.”
CBC Reporter: “Next time If someone asks you to play in a prison?”
Kremer: “I would go immediately….”
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) published a press release about their support of Maestro Gidon Kremer’s performance at Pacific Institution Regional Treatment Centre in Abbostford, BC; Looking At The Stars first musical gift of 2020.
In their press release they provide this enthusiastic quote from Maestro Kremer himself:
“I am honored to support Looking at the Stars and its wonderful and important work with my performance at Pacific Institution Regional Treatment Centre. By performing works by Bach and Weinberg in the circumstances and surroundings of a prison, I will do my small part to bring humanity and art into the inmates’ everyday life. I am sure it will be a unique and special performance for me and hopefully an inspiring event for the audience,” said violinist, Gidon Kremer.