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East And West Unite For Mikhail Gorbachevís 80th Birthday
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Gala concert in London to honour “the man who changed the world”
London, 27th October 2010: A GALA concert to mark the 80th birthday of international elder statesman Mikhail Gorbachev and raise £5 million for children’s charities will be held at London’s Royal Albert Hall next March, it was announced today.
The concert and fund-raising campaign was launched by Mr Gorbachev’s grand-daughters, Ksenia Gorbacheva and Anastasia Virganskaya, at a press conference at the Royal Albert Hall.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner, one of the most transformational figures of the 20th century and regarded globally as ‘the man who changed the world’, will turn 80 in March 2011.
Taking part in the fund-raising campaign and concert celebrations will be politicians and world leaders including former British Prime Minister, Sir John Major and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
Also taking part will be former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California and Friede Springer, of German publishing house Axel Springer, with more expected to add their support shortly.
And the first celebrities to lend their names and support to the campaign include stars such as Bono, Jose Carreras, Hugh Grant, Elizabeth Hurley, Alan Rickman, songwriter and producer Magnus Fiennes, and his film director sister Martha Fiennes with more names to be announced in the coming weeks.
Ksenia Gorbacheva, speaking at the press conference in London, said: “Mikhail Gorbachev is recognised around the world as one of the towering figures of 20th century.
“I'm very proud to be able to celebrate my grandfather's 80th birthday with the world next year and honour his remarkable achievements.”
The concert, on March 30 2011, will be the culmination of a six month fund-raising drive to raise £5m for children’s cancer charities in the UK and Russia.
Tickets will be priced to suit every budget, beginning at £35 and rising to £100,000 for 33 exclusive boxes with dinner and specially commissioned Gorby 80 memorabilia.
Leonid Schlachover, General Producer of Gorby 80 Ltd, said: “Mr Gorbachev is one of the most admired and respected world leaders and the biggest names in pop, classical music and art want to be part of his birthday celebrations.
“This will be a truly star-studded event with performers from Russia and the West making it a fantastic evening to remember – tickets are going to sell like gold dust so make sure you get yours first!
”The concert will feature both classical artists and modern pop bands. The evening will be split into seven phases to mark important milestones in Mr Gorbachev’s life including his childhood, route to power, perestroika, international peace efforts and charity work.
As well as the Royal Albert Hall concert in March 2011, the birthday celebrations will include a photography exhibition in Berlin of never-before-seen images of Mr Gorbachev’s life.
The exhibition is supported by the Gorbachev Foundation and Bild newspaper of Germany. It will start on February 25th 2011 and run for two months. Notes to Editors
About the Gala Concert Event 30th March 2011
About Mikhail Gorbachev
Mr Gorbachev, former Soviet leader, ended the Cold War and decades of nuclear stand-off with his policies of Perestroika and Glasnost in the former USSR and Eastern Europe in the 1980s and early 1990s. Halting decades of Soviet oppression, Mr Gorbachev ensured the voice of the people of Eastern Europe was heard and laid the foundations for Russia’s transition to democracy. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 in recognition of his international leadership.
About The Gorbachev Foundation
The International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies (The Gorbachev Foundation) was established by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1992 to promote democratic values around the world and to raise money for humanitarian causes. It has raised more than US $10 million for good causes. Since 1999 the main beneficiary of its find-raising efforts has been two centres dedicated to fighting cancer in Russia. For more information visit http://www.gorby.ru/en/.