'Impossible Orchestra' holds virtual performance to battle Mexico's domestic violence

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Overcoming obstacles put in place by the coronavirus pandemic, some of classical music’s most beloved artists are coming together to create a virtual ensemble to raise funds for women and children suffering domestic abuse in Mexico.

Founded during the pandemic crisis by Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra, the 27-artist “Impossible Orchestra” on Tuesday released a video of the Danzón No. 2, a classic modern Mexican composition inspired by a Cuban dance.

The video featured classical artists such as Emmanuel Pahud, Maxim Vengerov, Rolando Villazón and Alisa Weilerstein, and the Danzón video performance was filmed and edited during the lockdown period.

Combining individual footage from 14 countries, the video shows all the artists performing with a custom “groove track” of percussion, piano and bass. Its creators say this was “to approximate as closely as possible the magic of live, collaborative music-making.”

De la Parra wanted to focus on helping women and children suffering abuse because the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the issues this vulnerable group faces.

“This is a message of peace of joy to celebrate what makes us Mexicans, what unites us,” de la Parra told Reuters in a Zoom interview.

“By seeing this video people can reflect, be more patient, more tolerant – but not tolerate violence.”

The video has already raised more than 275,000 euros ($325,000) and de la Parra has set up a website allowing members of the public to donate directly to Fondo Semillas and Save the Children Mexico, two foundations working to curb domestic abuse in the Latin American nation.

On Friday, the orchestra will hold a virtual fundraising gala on YouTube to raise money, with “selected international celebrities” due to take part, the organisers said.

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