Czech Radio’s fundraising project to pay for musical instruments for children in need

Czech Radio has launched a new fundraising project which aims to provide musical instruments to children of Ukrainian refugees but also to Czech children whose parents don’t have the means to buy them. The project, called If a Thousand Clarinets is spearheaded by the world-famous Czech opera singer Magdalena Kožená.

Kdyby tisíc klarinetů, or If a Thousand Clarinets, is a famous 1964 Czech musical film featuring hit songs by the Semafor theatre, performed by the biggest stars of the day, including singers Waldemar Matuška, Karel Gott or Hana Hegerová.

If a Thousand Clarinets is also the name of a new fundraising project launched by Czech Radio’s Endowment Fund this Tuesday. Its aim is to distribute musical instruments, both used and new, among children whose parents cannot afford them.

Jiří Suchý in Kdyby tisíc klarinetů film | Photo: Studio Barrandov

The project has received support from a number of leading Czech musicians, including violinist Jiří Svěcený, drummer and singer David Koller and singer-songwriter Jiří Suchý, one of the authors of the famous musical:

“The idea of providing Ukrainian children with musical instruments, which they couldn’t take with them when they fled their country, is a beautiful one and I am really grateful to anyone who will contribute, and also to those who came up with the idea.”

The project is spearheaded by the famous Czech opera singer Magdalena Kožená, who has long been supporting the Czech Republic’s unique system of art schools through her endowment fund.

Magdalena Kožená | Photo: Oleg Rostovtsev,  archive of Magdalena Kožená

“We have been planning a very similar event with my foundation team for several months now, so when I heard about the Czech Radio Foundation’s event a few days ago, we decided to join forces rather than splitting them up, and I am very happy about that.”

Speaking about the project to Czech Radio, she remembered how she got her first musical instrument:

“When I was just three years old, I used to bang on the gas heater, because it reminded me of a keyboard. My parents, although they were not musicians themselves, realised they had to do something about it. So, instead of buying a new car, they bought me a small piano and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.”

Illustrative photo: freemell,  Pixabay,  Pixabay License

The fundraising project is not only meant to address professional musicians. Instruments, both used and new, can be donated by anyone who wants to take part, says head of Czech Radio’s Endowment Fund Gabriela Drastichová:

“We are calling on both individual donors and companies to provide a musical instrument and we also invite music teachers to place a request for a musical instrument. We will then link the request to the offers on our website.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the project can sign up on the website kdybytisicklarinetu.cz.

Authors: Ruth Fraňková , Josef Kaňka
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