Parties: Harmonies From The Heart

by Anh-Minh Le | Photography by Drew Altizer

With 600 tickets sold, May 9’s Concert for Compassion raised over $90,000 for Ukraine relief efforts, earmarked for World Central Kitchen, HIAS and Nova Ukraine. World-renowned organist Jonathan Dimmock chaired the benefit at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco, where he serves as music director, while Dede Wilsey was the lead underwriter.

More than 100 performers — as well as the event committee and staff — donated their services, including mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, composer/pianist Jake Heggie, conductor Nicole Paiement, Ukrainian American soprano Alina Ilchuk, tenor Mark Bonney, bass Matt Boehler and contralto Karen Clark. The Bay Brass, Artists’ Vocal Ensemble and musicians from the San Francisco Symphony were Jake Heggie and Frederica von Stade Alina Ilchuk Jonathan Dimmock, Jessica Zimmerman-Graf and Dmytro Kushneruk also on hand.

“We’re so grateful to have you here tonight … to welcome you for this wonderful concert of music that celebrates all of the vision, the hope, the aspiration, that we have for the people of Ukraine and for a world that is based in peace,” said Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman-Graf. Later, Dmytro Kushneruk, the City’s consul general of Ukraine, shared heartbreaking stories from his homeland and thanked “the people of San Francisco, people of Bay Area, of California, for the humanitarian response to this war so far.” Following the concert, supporters made their way to a public reception featuring 60 paintings by contemporary Ukrainian artists, curated by Alexander Miretsky. The evening’s program is available to enjoy online (, with donations encouraged.

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