AN internationally renowned classical pianist is playing in the North-East to raise funds for a charity welcoming refugees to the UK.

The concert at Durham Cathedral is in aid of City of Sanctuary, which works in Durham and helps refugees being resettled in the city.

Pianist Margaret Fingerhut is touring the UK with the aim of raising £88,000 and will be in Durham on Wednesday, October 30 with a programme including works by Chopin, Grieg, Handel, Haydn, Prokofieff and Rachmaninoff.

She said: "My ancestors settled here from the Ukraine, Poland and Ireland, so I have always been acutely aware of the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, never more so than today, given the climate of increasing hatred, intolerance and hostility to ‘others’.

"I wanted to find some unique way of raising awareness as well as funds for UK refugees, so I was very excited to come up with this idea. It struck me that the landscape of classical music would be very different if composers had not been allowed to migrate. Many of the world’s best-loved composers had to move from their homeland, either because of war or fear of persecution, or they simply migrated for their work.

"I have picked all the pieces for their association with the theme of migration, exile and homesickness. However, I have designed the programme to be by no means just sad! The music I have chosen is also uplifting, happy, even humorous, as well as emotional, dramatic, heroic and virtuoso."

Tickets for Far From the Home I Love are £15 (£13 concession) and are available from