THE patron of the Whittington Music festival is set to play a London concert to raise funds for Ukraine after he was forced to cancel a concert.

The distinguished cellist Steven Isserlis CBE, was due to play in Odessa, where his father was born, on Wednesday, May 25, but will not be able to perform because of the war.

He will now instead play a benefit concert for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in north London on that date, three days after their last concert in at the Whittington Music Festival.

The concert will include Steven Isserlis playing a Haydn cello concerto and the Whittington Festival Players conducted by Andres Kaljuste, from Estonia, performing Mozart’s Symphony No 29.

A spokesman for Whittington Music Festival said: “We are delighted to be involved with this concert to raise funds for humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine.

"North Shropshire may seem far from that beleaguered country, but Whittington Music Festival has always involved musicians from across Europe and beyond and this year is no exception.


“The plans for the benefit concert were put together after Whittington Festival’s artistic director Sophia Rahman met our patron Steven at the renowned Prussia Cove gathering of international musicians and they considered the impossibility of a concert booked for him in Odessa.

"We are proud that musicians who have played at Whittington, many of them straight from this year’s Festival, will be taking part in this concert and that we have been able to offer help with our online booking facilities.”

The musicians have all donated their services for the concert and ticket proceeds are to be split between UNICEF and the UK Disasters Emergency Committee of 15 leading UK aid charities. There will be a retiring collection too.

The concert will be in St Peter’s Church, Belsize Park NW3 4HJ.

Tickets are £18 and are available through the Whittington Music Festival website