Russian pianist Alexander Ardakov has lived in Amersham since December 1991. With a full teaching schedule at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London and a hectic schedule of concerts at home and abroad, Alexander is a busy man.
His engagements have not stopped him from caring about what happens to the children back home, in the huge country that, when he left it in 1991, was called the Soviet Union.
The nuclear disaster in Chernobyl (Ukraine) caused heavy irradiation of areas to the north-west (Belarus) as well as areas to the east of Alexander’s own homeland of Russia. Anxious to do something to help the children and families who still live with this legacy, Alexander has, for many years, been supporting an Amersham charity called Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (UK).
This charity has helped to develop the first children’s hospice in the Soviet Union, turning it into a model project, looked to for help and advice by neighbouring countries. It is now helping to open up children’s hospices throughout the former Soviet Union. Alexander has played many charity piano recitals for Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice, he has used his influence to introduce new sponsors to the charity, he has helped to arrange fundraising events and even played a fundraising concert as far away as in Lynnwood, WA, USA, for his favourite charity.
Now the link between Alexander and Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice has become official. Alexander is “touched and honoured” to have been invited to become the charity’s patron. As such, he joins BBC war journalist Kate Adie, who did a sell-out talk in Amersham about her book “Into Danger” in aid of the charity; Baroness Caroline Cox, well known humanitarian campaigner; local businessman Peter Harper, formerly president of local charity, Workaid; Lord McColl of Dulwich, of Mercy Ships fame and Lady Middleton. Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice has been able to attract such high calibre patrons due to the high profile of the vital work it is doing in Belarus to help terminally ill and disabled children.
Chairwoman of Friends of BCH, Daryl Ann Hardman, said of Professor Ardakov’s appointment as patron, “We are delighted to be associated with a wonderful musician of Alexander’s international standing and a person who, coming from the former Soviet Union, has empathy for the plight of the children and families whom we are supporting. We have every hope that his patronage will help to raise the profile of our charity in the UK and abroad, wherever he performs.”