Pianist to give benefit concert for Ukrainian refugees

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Acclaimed Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev will present a concert to benefit Ukrainian refugees at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24, at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church. Doors open at 3:15 p.m. and seating is first come, first served.

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit Ukrainian refugees through the United Nations World Food Programme.

The church is located at 465 12th Ave N., Jacksonville Beach

A reception follows the concert with an art exhibit by Keith Doles.

Anyone who cannot attend the Beaches Fine Arts Series concert but who wishes to make a donation, may do so by mailing a check to BFAS with “Ukraine” in the “memo/for” area.

Beaches Fine Arts Series issued a statement condemning the unprovoked war in Ukraine and on the Ukrainian people.

“We stand with members of the artistic community around the world who seek peace, friendship and cultural understanding, including Russian artists and all institutions who actively work towards this shared understanding on the global stage,” the statement reads. “May we all look for ways to create peace in our communities — embodying the courage and hope of the Ukrainian people — and work together to achieve this goal.

The World Food Programme is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.

Yakushev has performed in various prestigious venues worldwide, including Great Philharmonic Hall (St. Petersburg), Victoria Hall (Singapore), Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (New York), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco) and Sejong Performing Arts Center (Seoul, Korea).

His performances with orchestra include those with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Boston Pops, Rochester Philharmonic, Utah Symphony and many others. His critically acclaimed duo with cellist Thomas Mesa is in great demand.

Winner of the 2005 World Piano Competition, Yakushev received his first award at age 12 as a prizewinner of the Young Artists Concerto Competition in his native St. Petersburg. In 1997, he received the Mayor of St. Petersburg’s Young Talents award, and in both 1997 and 1998, he won First Prize at the Donostia Hiria International Piano Competition in San Sebastian, Spain.

In 1998, he received a national honor, The Award for Excellence in Performance, presented to him by the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation in Moscow. Most recently, he became a recipient of the prestigious Gawon International Music Society’s Award in Seoul, Korea.

Yakushev attended the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music in his native St. Petersburg and subsequently came to New York City to attend Mannes College of Music, where he studied with legendary pianist Vladimir Feltsman.

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