The Philharmonic Orchestra of Luxembourg, the Finnish conductor Tarmo Peltokoski and the South Korean baritone Taehan Kim, virtuoso laureate of the Concours Reine Elisabeth 2023; Credit: © Philharmonie Luxembourg / Alfonso Salgueiro

The SOS Villages d’Enfants Monde charity concert took place on Thursday 7 December 2023 at the Philharmonie in Luxembourg-Kirchberg.

The evening brought together SOS Villages d’Enfants Monde friends involved alongside the association for vulnerable children around the world, this year for children and youth of Uzbekistan. This 47th Gala Concert, traditionally organised with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonie and EY, witnessed the presence of Luxembourg’s Grand Duke, the Prime Minister Luc Frieden and Minister of Culture Eric Thill, among other prominent personalities.

Anouk Agnes, President of SOS Villages d'Enfants Monde, opened the evening with a heartfelt tribute to Marcel Nilles, the late founder of the association, who passed away last October.Top of Form She spoke of the major emergencies of the moment, from the Middle East to Ukraine, recalling that children are always the first victims of war. She also spoke about the concert's beneficiary project, namely a child protection programme in the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan. Launched in 2017, it focuses on alternative care for children, aims to strengthen families and the employability of young people.

A documentary, crafted in November by Pascal Becker, a reporter-cameraman for RTL, capturing moments in the field alongside Emilie Venner, a collaborator with SOS, served as a visual and auditory complement to the President's statements. It illustrated the tangible measures implemented by local SOS partners to enhance the well-being of children, foster their talents, and served as a reminder of the sense of commitment here in Luxembourg, the organisers noted.

In the first part of the evening, the winner of the 2023 Queen Elisabeth Competition, the young South Korean baritone Taehan Kim performed demanding works, lieder and opera extracts by Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold, including two of the pieces performed during the final of the prestigious competition.

After the break, the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, under the conduction of another young prodigy, the Finnish conductor Tarmo Peltokoski, transported the audience into the popular and romantic Symphony No. 4 by Anton Bruckner.

The exact amount raised has not been disclosed at this time.