Writing Christmas cards and New Year greetings in a traditional way by hand and pen is a time consuming job, however it is not a burden but rather a pleasant activity. When I write the name of the addressee on a card, they appear in my mind. This virtual presence continues while I write my greetings. I can almost hear their voice and various stories emerge from the past, attached to both of us. The card may still be on my desk but spiritual contact has already been made. I guess it took a long time for many of us to abandon our pens and pencils and use the computer keyboard instead. I have now also experienced that magical contact being made by touching these electronic keys.
When I started to draft this New Year Greeting, in my mind appeared many colleagues who were practicing or teaching in bomb-damaged rooms without heating, proper lighting or internet connections. They have probably already spent many days in their cellars and basements or have taken refuge in air-raids shelters because of the incessant bomb alerts. I could hear the second movement of Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony (Op.110a) in my head, where the cruel sound of bombing shakes both players and listeners. Those colleagues whom you met earlier at ESTA conferences or whose concerts, presentations and demonstrations you have attended, cannot escape the brutal reality of attacking artillery. They are living today in constant fear and need. Do you remember the cello solo in the Largo? This heartwarming melody has such a healing effect. After the anniversary conference in Graz the central board of ESTA launched an “Ukrainian project” with the aim of healing. We informed the national presidents about this plan and asked them to distribute our proposition to all their members. My New Year Greeting is actually a request. I kindly ask you, dear ESTA member, to really examine our proposal and if you agree, please join us in making this project a reality.
Please help us by donating as much as you are able. Every little bit helps. If we all contribute a small amount it will make a mountain of difference.