This year's Elizabeth Krehm Memorial Concert: a follow-up

This year's Elizabeth Krehm Memorial Concert: a follow-up

Greg Finney

On Monday, November 14th, at Toronto’s Metropolitan United Church a large group gathered to celebrate the life of Elizabeth Krehm and to raise money for the St. Michael’s ICU. The event is organized by the Krehm Family and Rachel Krehm (Elizabeth’s sister) and General Director of Opera 5.

The evening included wonderful performances of Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, played exquisitely by Yosuke Kawasaki and Jessica Linnebach, the Concertmaster and Associate Concertmaster of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. It flowed beautifully into a set of vocal music with soprano Rachel Krehm performing “Come Scoglio” from Cosí fan tutte, “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka, and “Morgen” by Strauss. The concert concluded with the Kingston Symphony performing Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the “Eroica”. The entire night was expertly conducted by Kingston Symphony Music Director Evan Mitchell.

“Grieving can be a true struggle. Elizabeth’s memorial concerts are certainly for a good cause, and that’s wonderful, but I think for me, it’s all about honouring and celebrating Elizabeth’s memory.” Mitchell said in a statement via email, “About a week after her passing, Rachel and I were lying in bed and after a silence, she very simply said ‘I miss my sister.’ That was a terrible moment for me, because while I can give comfort and support, ultimately I can’t truly heal the tear in the heart which comes when you lose someone special. But music can help to do just that. That’s why these concerts are precious.”

“These concerts are always very special, but with this year’s inclusion of the Bach, it was more personal than it has ever been.” adds Rachel. “Each year as the distance grows from the time of Liz’s death, I gain more perspective. This year in particular it was very important to me, my mom, my dad and Evan to honour the memories of loved ones lost by the musicians and volunteers. Two people involved in the concert had recently lost fathers, but until I asked, I hadn’t known of many other people’s losses. Sharing the space to grieve together made the concert all the more meaningful for me. Every year, when I sing, I feel my sister’s presence, and this year it felt stronger and brighter than ever. For me, music is a great power in the world. The performers connect with the audience and it is this unification which breaks barriers and gives us common ground. That’s how music is able to heal and restore.”

At last count, the evening raised over $20,000 for the ICU at St. Michael’s Hospital, showing once again that music can heal almost any hurt. On the whole, since the inaugural concert, the Krehms have raised over $60,000 in support of the place that provided Elizabeth with the top-level care and support. You can still donate, by clicking right here. Congratulations to all involved, and see you next year.

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