Panos Karan to Perform in New York in Support of Musical Charity “Keys of Change”

LONDON – International musical charity Keys of Change announced that renowned Greek-born pianist Panos Karan, who in 2014 founded the Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta, will be performing a piano recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on 8 June at 8pm. The recital, entitled “24 Chopin Etudes and Other Tales” and presented by Keys of Change, will raise funds for and awareness of the orchestra’s activities in Fukushima, as well as other similar musical projects around the world. The exclusive concert will be hosted by the performer himself—founder of Keys of Change and the Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta—and will feature Chopin’s 24 evocative and popular Études, Opus 10 and Opus 25, together with Debussy’s Étude No 1 “Pour les cinq doigts” (for five fingers). Karan will also speak about Keys of Change, which uses music to improve the lives of young people living in extraordinary circumstances around the world, introducing stories and reflections from his remarkable journeys through the Amazon, Sierra Leone, and Japan.

Panos Karan said: “Playing Chopin 24 Etudes in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, one of the world’s most elegant venues for such an exclusive recital is an astounding feat for any pianist. More importantly, I am truly delighted to be part of an event that is raising funds for the admirable work of a unique charity, supporting with music children in need around the world.”

Karan’s performance at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall this June will be his fourth in this venue; he is a pianist, conductor, and philanthropist whose ideas are fast shaping the understanding of classical music in the 21st century. Karan has performed in some of the world’s top venues, including Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, and Tokyo Suntory Hall. He has a passion for bringing classical music to deprived audiences and improving the lives of children and young people in need through music education.

Keys of Change, the concert organizer for the piano recital on June 8, is a charity formed by individuals who deeply believe that playing music can make this world a better place. Keys of Change aims to advance the lives of children and young people around the world through musical education and access to live classical music performances.

The Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta (FYS) is one of the most positive things to have emerged from the devastation of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. This summer, on 6 August, the FYS will perform in Tokyo’s prestigious Suntory Hall, while next year the young Fukushima musicians will be returning to London for a performance at the Southbank Centre.

Tickets are available through the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 57th and Seventh,


About Panos Karan

Born in Greece and educated at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Panos Karan has taken music from the world’s top concert halls into the Amazon jungle, to the most impoverished districts of Kolkata, to prisons of war-torn Sierra Leone, and to the evacuation centers of post-tsunami Japan. Past performances include Carnegie Hall; Symphony Hall, Boston; Queen Elizabeth Hall, London; Suntory Hall, Tokyo; and Tokyo Opera City. In September 2010, he founded the charity Keys of Change,which is helping to bring music to young people living under extraordinary circumstances around the world, and in 2014 he founded the Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta, an orchestra made up of young musicians affected by the 2011 disaster. Karan has visited more than 110 countries, has lived in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Athens, Tokyo, and currently resides in London. He speaks six languages.

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About Keys of Change

The charity was set up in early 2011 by Panos Karan, who works with three other trustees, all involved in music and/or education, and a growing number of committed volunteers in many countries. Over the past seven years, Keys of Change has brought classical music, often for the first time, to deprived or suffering audiences, in remote areas of the Amazon basin, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Kolkata, and the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima area in Japan, as well as in Greece, Russia, and London. As says Keys of Change founder Panos Karan says, “Our music has brought alive emotions—fascination, happiness, tears of sadness—and generated hope and encouragement. Music is one of the simplest yet strongest ways for individuals around the world to build bridges for peace and make a positive social change.”

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About the Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta

Set up by UK charity Keys of Change in partnership with schools in Fukushima, initially to bring hope to the young people in the area, the orchestra has made rapid musical strides and has performed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London (2014), Tokyo Opera City (2015) in the presence of HIM Empress Michiko of Japan, and in Boston Symphony Hall (2016). The Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta is a dynamic group of about fifty young Japanese musicians who have been coached by Keys of Change musicians during the past five years, as well as by professional musicians from the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and prominent conductor Tetsuji Honna.

Wherever the orchestra has performed—from Fukushima itself to London and Boston—it has received an extremely enthusiastic reception. The FYS musicians come from a part of Japan that, sadly, is now only associated with nuclear disaster. The students themselves often explain that they don’t live in a Chernobyl-like wasteland and question why the media constantly paint them that way? They point out that they are alive and growing and learning and playing music! Their families are also alive, they say, working hard and struggling to overcome the problems of the past. Theyare intent on showingtheir new lives to the world. Both inherently and overtly, the Fukushima students have an extraordinary story to convey. The FYS brings a strong, positive message and fully expects this programme to deepen global understanding of the true situation in post-disaster Tohoku. Offering these students the opportunity to meet bi-weekly to practice and learn music will only strengthen an already positive outcome.

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Video links:

Panos Karan – TEDxAthens “Can music change the world”

Panos Karan – LIVE in Boston Symphony Hall [Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2]

Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta – From Fukushima to Quene Elizabeth Hall

Keys of Change – Overview