Piano Recital with Hersh Anwer, Nov. 13. Last year, Anwer arrived in Canada as a refugee from South Kurdistan. He performs at 7:30 p.m. in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall (B125- MacLaurin Building). Tickets at eventbrite.ca. (Submitted photo)

Anwer performs his first piano concert in Canada after arriving as a refugee from South Kurdistan

The Piano Recital with Hersh Anwer is Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Victoria.

Last year Hersh Anwer arrived in Canada as a refugee from South Kurdistan.

Anwer performs his first piano concert in Canada after arriving as a refugee from South Kurdistan last year.

Hersh will perform both classical music and original Kurdish compositions, featuring compositions by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Debussy and more during a performance at the University of Victoria on Monday.

Anwer, 26, came to Canada on his own, without any government, church, or individual sponsorship. This event is a fundraiser to help launch his musical career in Canada. He hopes to be able to continue his musical education, as a composer and pianist, at a Canadian University next year.

It’s the second time he’s been a refugee, Anwer says in his bio.

“As a baby, I was carried by my teen-aged cousin on foot across the border into Iran, where our family had to live as refugees because of Saddam Hussein’s reprisals against the Kurdish people and after six months we were able to return to Iraqi Kurdistan,” he says. “I lost my mother when I was 2.5 years old, and when my father remarried I was raised by my father and stepmother, with the help of my brothers and sisters.”

The classical pianist, composer and songwriter started learning piano in 2008. For eight years he attended the summer performing arts academies organized by the non-profit organization, American Voices, in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

“Otherwise, I taught myself, studying without a piano teacher at the Institute of Fine Arts in Erbil until my graduation in 2012,” he says.

He spent the next year on an American Voices full one-year scholarship studying in the U.S.

“My plan to return to study in the U.S. to continue with my music training was were interrupted by the ISIS invasion of Mosul and the subsequent collapse of the economy in Iraqi Kurdistan, where I had previously been given assurances of financial support for a scholarship from the local government,” he says.

“In 2016, because of my musical career and my political activism, I was no longer safe in Iraqi Kurdistan. So I chose to take a chance that Canada would be a safe haven and, with help from friends along the way, I made the journey to Victoria in October 2016 without government, church or private sponsorship.”

Monday’s concert will be a celebration as well as a fundraiser.

“It will be a way for me to say thank you to the people of Victoria for their support over the past year — and for people to contribute to my musical training, as I gratefully continue my musical career in British Columbia,” he says.

The Piano Recital with Hersh Anwer is Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall (B125- MacLaurin Building) at the University of Victoria.

Tickets are available at eventbrite.ca/e/piano-recital-with-kurdish-refugee-hersh-anwer-tickets-38919678807?aff=eac2


 

@OakBayNews
cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Pot regulation hazy for Sooke businesses

Sooke stores will continue to operate after Oct. 17

Bizarre accident sends vehicle into water

Elderly Sooke resident involved in an accident in his driveway

Saanich homeless campers ‘apprehensive’ about pending police action

No police are currently on site after provincial government issued notice of eviction

Greater Victoria municipalities will consider at least seven applications for private pot stores

Victoria will eventually consider six applications, while Sooke will consider one

Smoking pot? Your dentist wants to know

Vancouver dentist and cannabis researcher shares oral health concerns of marijuana

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Robert Barron column: Glad straps no longer used in schools

You would have to hold out your hands, palms up to expose the most sensitive parts

Island pot smokers won’t be allowed to light up on the ski hill

Mount Washington maintains smoke-free policy in light of marijuana legalization

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to dominate North American marijuana industry

Cannabis producers claim the U.S. is “rapidly losing” its competitive advantage to Canada

Battle resumes over speculation tax on B.C. vacant homes

Opposition calls it ‘fake’ tax that is reducing housing supply

Robert Barron column: Glad straps no longer used in schools

You would have to hold out your hands, palms up to expose the most sensitive parts

Around the BCHL: Merritt, Chilliwack and Coquitlam early-season surprises

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s going on in the league and throughout the junior A world.

Most Read