Violinist Gidon Kremer performs at Pacific Institution in Abbotsford on Jan. 29.

World-renowned violinist to perform at Abbotsford prison

Gidon Kremer’s concert on Jan. 29 is part of Looking at the Stars’ program

Gidon Kremer, one of the world’s foremost classical violinists, will perform a historic concert at the Pacific Institution Regional Treatment Centre in Abbotsford on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

The concert, which starts at 2 p.m., features Kremer performing Preludes to a Lost Time, 24 Preludes op.100 in the adaptation for violin by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, in addition to J. S. Bach’s Chaconne.

Over his nearly 50-year career, Kremer has performed with all of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, conductors and concert halls.

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He has received many prestigious awards, including international awards for his recordings that now number 120 albums.

He plays a violin made by Nicola Amati in 1641 and is the author of four books.

In 2016, Kremer received the Praemium Imperiale prize that is widely considered the Nobel Prize of music.

Kremer’s concert at the Pacific Institution launches Looking at the Stars’ fifth year delivering classical music performed by world-class artists as gifts to institutions and organizations whose members may not have an opportunity to experience live classical music in a traditional setting, or those without access to traditional venues.

“It is a historic first for such an internationally renowned and high-caliber musician like Gidon Kremer to take the time out of his schedule to travel to Canada and present his artistry in a prison environment, which is also a first for him in his illustrious career,” said Dmitri Kanovich, founder and CEO of Looking at the Stars.

A former refugee to Canada, and an information technology executive, Lithuanian-Canadian Dmitri Kanovich founded the Looking at the Stars Foundation as a way of giving back to Canada.

Since 2015, the charity has delivered more than 40 performances to over 3,500 recipients in venues in Ontario, Quebec, B.C. and, most recently, in a pilot program in the European Union. They have included long-term care institutions, hospitals and correctional institutions.

These intimate presentations include personal interaction between performers and audience members.

“We live in interesting times, and those living in institutions where our artists perform are forgotten. By presenting these intimate interactive recitals, it changes the residents by bringing them dignity, giving them hope, confidence and warming their hearts,” Kanovich said.

Canadian and international performers who have given recitals for Looking at the Stars include: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra Chamber Soloists, students from The Royal Conservatory of Music Glenn Gould School, pianist Lukas Geniušas, violinist Aylen Pritchin, and pianist Darius Mažintas.

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