Cause UK secured BBC Look North and the Press Association to cover the story of world-class concert pianist Ke Ma performance at York Minster on 22 October to highlight the plight of musicians and the arts. The story was featured in The Times and The Telegraph as well as over 30 regional newspapers.
A Royal Academy alumni and student at the Guildhall School of Music, Chinese born Ke Ma played a special and poignant private performance at York Minster.
With events and performances cancelled during the pandemic the concert is a eulogy to the arts and their profound impact. The performance hopes to highlight the sector’s contribution to the economy and our humanity. Pre-Covid-19, the arts and culture industry contributed an estimated £10.8 billion a year to the UK economy.
Hailed for her ‘superb technical command’ Ke Ma has toured the globe, performed with the Royal Philharmonic and made her debut at Wigmore Hall in 2017.
The private concert, which will be broadcast to audiences online, has been made possible by the Leeds piano emporium, Besbrode Pianos, who temporarily gifted a £100,000 Wilh Steinberg piano to York Minster whilst its organ underwent a once-a-century refurbishment.
York Minster is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the UK. In total last year, the City of York received 8.4 million visits, bringing an economic value of £765 million and supporting more than 24,000 jobs in the city.
Besbrode Pianos supports key community sites and charities across Yorkshire. Examples include the loan of a Kawai grand to the Beckett Wing at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals and gifting an upright piano to dementia care homes and train stations. They are key sponsors to one of the world’s foremost music competition, the Leeds International Piano Competition.
Melvin Besbrode said: “We wanted to mark the current plight of musicians. There are no live performances happening right now. It’s incredibly sad for audiences as well as musicians. We had programmed a number of concerts at York Minster prior to the pandemic, so in lieu of our plans we are thrilled to have secured Ke Ma, who otherwise would have been too busy performing at venues such as the Barbican or Drapers’ Hall. This is a poignant moment in history as artists, who spend a lifetime honing their craft, face an existential crisis as their livelihoods are at risk.”
Robert Sharpe, Director of Music at York Minster, said: “It’s a thrill to welcome Ke Ma to the Minster and to mark the provenance of the grand piano kindly loaned by Besbrode in the history of the Minster. The experience of hearing music in this exceptional setting is powerful and moving. In these strange and complicated times, we are pleased to help showcase how integral music and the arts are to us emotionally and spiritually, perhaps more so now than ever before.”
Ke Ma’s repertoire will include Debussy and Chopin.
Ke Ma’s performance will be made available on http://www.besbrodepianos.co.uk/ and their social media feeds.
Ke ma performed-
Mozart Sonata in D Major K.311 (15m)
Brahms Paganini Variation Book II Op.35 (10m)
Debussy Bergamasque (20m)
Debussy – ‘La cathédrale engloutie’ (The Sunken Cathedral) (5m)
Chopin Mazurka Op.59 (10m)