THE CHOPIN PROJECT IN PARIS

$4,239 of $13.5k goal

Raised by 34 people in 18 months
Elina Akselrud  BROOKLYN, NY
Dear World! My name is Elina Akselrud, I am a classical pianist and a photographer. Currently I am collaborating with the amazing actor Nathanaël Bez  on a very special project - a research/performance piece on the Parisian Years of Frederic Chopin. This event is more than a concert, it interweaves at least three art genres:

♪ The solo piano performance of Chopin's music.
♪ Theatrical readings of Chopin's letters, and poems by Polish poets of his time.
♪ Photographs and short video clips of Chopin's Parisian life, which include his pianos, manuscripts, personal belongings, portraits, routes, and more.

The piano performance, photography, and the script are done by me. The readings are taken over by Nathanaël.

"Chopin: A letter through the Parisian years" is a reflection upon the human condition: Human beings, qua artists, must create in order to live meaningfully; of which Chopin most faithfully manifested. Each time a new piece is given birth to, it leaves the creator and inhabits the souls of others. Thereafter it lives in the hearts of the audiences, ever-growing and ever-inspiring. No matter how hard life's obstacles may seem, one must create and, therefore, bloom eternally. And thus, the creation of an artwork is the most beautiful occurrence in the Universe, making it all the more meaningful with each passing moment.

There are two further related themes that we would like to emphasise in our work. The first is Chopin’s complex personality, which is not always illustrated by the performers or perceived by the audiences. This is important since Chopin’s personality shows his awareness of the necessity to create in order to give meaning to life. Moreover, this portrayal asks the audiences to reflect upon their often neglected inner selves, via seeing Chopin as fundamentally a human being struggling for a purpose in life, and realising that purpose via the act of creating.

The second theme is the importance of remembering the past and its ideals. This importance is seen in Chopin’s letters, music, his life, his personality. They powerfully expressed the most intimate aspects of being human. Chopin’s legacy thus teaches us that from past examples, we may better understand our own desires, thoughts, actions. Furthermore, we must remember the ideal of the past in order to remember what we are fighting for; what we are working for; what we are living for. The answer is art. We do not work, learn, invent new tools merely for their own sake, but as ways to a better, a more meaningful life. Yet, after thousands of years of civilisation, we have began to gradually loose sight of what we really wanted deep within our hearts. I hope that via an integration of Chopin’s music with the other, and usually less attended to aspects of his life, we may all keep with us something truly valuable.


Click for the full presentation of the Chopin Project

This work will be developed, finished, and performed at the Grand Salon of the Foundation of the United States in Paris  on APRIL 1, 2016. We are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to perform in this wonderful venue and cannot wait to share this experience with you!

However, turning this project into a great show with professional production and a DVD recording would be impossible without your help. We truly hope that you will participate in the creation of this work and we will be more than happy to send you a gift after we accomplish this adventure! Below is the list of what is needed in order to bring this performance to life in the best possible way and it requires funding, which we are now seeking:

* Projector to display the visuals - [$1100] - will be provided by FEUSA to use for the premiere!
* Mapping, rendering & compositing - $600
* Visual projection, lighting & sound effects assistants - $750
* Props/decorations - $200
* Publicity, advertisement & marketing - $600
* Designing & printing posters, flyers & programs - $800
* Sound recording, post production & mastering - $1300
* Videography & photography (3-5 cameras) - $1600
* DVD production - $2000
* Piano tuning & services - [$500] - was offered complimentary by Philippe Jolly!!!
* Reception- $600
* Miscellaneous - $500
* GoFundMe fee - 8% of each donation
* Currency conversion fee (USD-EUR) - 3%
* Pays for artists – THE REST

We will be immensely grateful for any donation and we ask you to kindly share this information with your friends. Of course, please make sure that your name is on the list of our supporters in the program of the performance!

[If for any reason you would not like your name to be printed in the program and would prefer to remain anonymous, please kindly indicate it as a note when making your donation.]

Please read the donation benefits, since we will make sure to thank every one who helps us ! (Please note that the last three levels include live performances, which are to be scheduled on mutually agreeable dates with travel/lodging expenses for artists covered by the donor.)

 THANK YOU !!!
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Update 4
Posted by Elina Akselrud
12 months ago
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Dear Friends,
We did it. The premiere of the “Chopin: A Letter through the Parisian Years” took place on April 1, 2016 at the Foundation of the United States in Paris, France. And nothing would have happened without your tremendous support. We had a full-house in a completely overbooked venue with a live wait-list, nearly 200 occupied seats. People arrived especially for this event from the United States, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and many places in France.


You know, I feel truly lucky and blessed in my life because of the people I am surrounded with. It is a real happiness when those around are so responsive, kind-hearted, and understanding. I am grateful from the bottom of my heart to all of you, listed below. It would not be possible to create this project without such wonderful people involved.


The financial report is available for the donors only, upon request. The prints for the donors will be mailed out this weekend. The DVD will be created over the next few months and I will announce more information on it later on.


We are now open to invitations for the future performances of this project. Feel free to throw in ideas!

Please follow this link to see the photo album of the Premiere Day: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.503707939836824.1073741829.338159656391654&type=1&l=e9371cb61b

A very special thanks to:


- Nathanaël Bez
– Ed Akselrud
– Shahin Arnold Alirkan
– Lionel Harkas, Sono Concept
– Iryna Kyshliaruk
– Ziad Kreidy
– Sophie Vasset, Noëmi Haire-Sievers & The Foundation of the United States
– Adam Wibrowski & The Chopin Association in Nohant
– The Polish Library in Paris
– Wanda Horky, Benjamin James & Friends of Chopin Australia
– Fan d’Érard
– Eliso Virsaladze
– Konstanin Lifschitz
– Alexander Korsantia
– Anka Zhuravleva
– Anne-Lise Haenni
– The Wohleber Family
– Philippe & Catherine Jolly
– Dilectiss Liu
– Frédéric Gaussin
– Alex Bauer
– Bogdan Sydorenko
– Magdalena Geka
– Mikhail Suhaka
– Irina Viscun
– Benita Majczak
– Konstantin Rybakov
– Roberta & Francesca Prada
– Catherine Grive
– Marija Bokor
– Asia Ahmetjanova
– Natasha Roqué Alsina
– Marie Roure
– Andrei Malakhov
– Yerzhan Kushanov
– Mira Rakhmanova
– My parents: Igor & Anna Akselrud
– Denis Zhdanov
OUR DONORS

– Jack & Yulia Levin
– Igor & Anna Akselrud
– Denis Zhdanov
– Iryna Kit & Anri Vartanov
– Alex Bauer
– Friends of Chopin Australia
– Charles Thibo
– Wanda & Wojciech Horky
– Margot Woods
– Sergei Levitan
– Dilectiss Liu
– Elena Konstantynova
– Marie Roure
– Leonie Newman
– Karina Glaser
– Valeriya Sholokhova
– Anastasia Seifetdinova
– Irina Balinskaya
– Asako Matsukawa
– Elena Kuzmuk
– Milena Zhivotovskaya
– Maria Raizwasser

Once again, many thanks and all the best to each of you.
VIVA CHOPIN!
Elina
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Update 3
Posted by Elina Akselrud
14 months ago
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Dear Friends,
I hope all is well with you and you are quite ready for the coming spring! First of all, today is Chopin’s Birthday (he was born on March 1, 1810) and I would like to remind you that the premiere of “CHOPIN: A LETTER THROUGH THE PARISIAN YEARS” is taking place at the Grand Salon of the Foundation of the United States in Paris, France, on April 1, 2016 at 8:00 pm! The admission is FREE (reservations are recommended through Weezevent).
weezevent.com/chopin-a-letter-through-the-parisian-years

Naturally, I would love to thank all the donors who have supported the Chopin in Paris crowdfunding project campaign!
Nathanaël Bez and I have a few updates about our work that we would love to share with you! We have been rehearsing now for a while, and things are unfolding beautifully. I have completed my visual shooting in locations such as Parisian addresses of Chopin (9 Sq d’Orléans, 12 Place Vendôme, the Père Lachaise cemetery), streets of Cité Bergère along with some interior views, a number of others places in Paris and went to Poland (Warsaw and Żelazowa Wola) in order to shoot places of Chopin’s birth and childhood/youth.

We are very grateful to the following organizations for collaborating with us: The Foundation of the United States in Paris, Association Chopin à Nohant, The Polish Library in Paris, and Friends of Chopin Australia. Without assistance from these institutions it would be impossible to have things done.

We have a list of good news: first of all the Foundation of the United States is lending us their projector for the visuals completely free of charge, in addition to letting us use the venue for free!
The next great news is that Eduard Akselrud is now our projection technician and video manager, who will be flying over to Paris from New York City at the end of March to join us for the DVD filming, and all the projection work! We also gained a visual effects assistant Shahin Alirkan, who is working on the compositing of the entire visual part, as well as helping with additional film shooting! He is also based in New York and works with us long-distance.
However, this is not all: Iryna Kyshliaruk, a very prominent Ukrainian soprano currently based in Paris and Leipzig, will be performing one of Chopin’s songs with us on stage!
And our newest team member is the Parisian lighting director Lionel Harkas, Sono Concept, who will create magic with colors, lights, and shadows!

It is incredibly exciting to be working together with such unique and talented artists. It feels very uplifting and inspiring and we CANNOT WAIT to share our work with you! We are also accepting invitations for future performances of this project – if you happen to have ideas or know someone possibly interested in organizing such an event (perhaps as part of a festival), please be in touch!
Once more, we are very grateful to ALL the donors who are helping us. Every donation means a world to us, really. However, we are still quite far from our goal and the time is going by very quickly… So we do need YOUR support. You can donate to our project at our GoFundMe campaign page and we will make sure to thank you.

MERCI !
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Update 2
Posted by Elina Akselrud
14 months ago
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Dear Friends,

Thank you very much to those who were able to donate and share our campaign! Here are a few updates:

Our rehearsals are going very well, Nathanaël and I are working very hard in order to prepare a performance of the best quality for April 1! He possesses UNBELIEVABLE talent and skills, you better come see us perform at FEUSA, don't miss the opportunity! ;)

Awesome news: FEUSA is lending us a projector for the premiere, free of charge! So no need to buy one for now!!! That is 1K less, by the way :)

I have just returned from Poland (and no, I did not use a cent of the donated money to go there!) where I was very lucky to get awesome footage from Żelazowa Wola (Chopin's birthplace) and Warsaw. These visuals will be used during some special moments of the performance (sorry, right now I cannot say any more than that, enough spoilers!) Of course, I am getting most of my footage from Paris, where I have already worked at the key Chopin places and about to start the editing part.

If you haven't donated to our project yet, Nathanaël and I will be tremendously grateful if you take this opportunity to help us. To be honest, it is quite hard to set up a quality-performance while also doing all the production, organizational, marketing & PR work at the same time, since we have no possibility to hire people to take care of the "backstage" part. We appreciate any support from the bottom of our hearts, really.

Thank you and have a wonderful week!
Elina & Nathanaël
Shooting at Sq. d'Orléans ;)
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Update 1
Posted by Elina Akselrud
15 months ago
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First of all, I would like to thank all the donors, who have supported us! Without you all this would be impossible.

Nathanaël​ and I had our first reading yesterday! It is very hard not to tell you all the pre-production secrets yet, but for now I will just say that there are going to be very powerful things in the performance.

Nate is an INCREDIBLE artist, I am tremendously lucky to be working with this superstar! Something awesome is cooking, I promise!

Philippe Jolly of Fan de Pleyel was enormously kind to offer his piano tuning services at FEUSA free of charge! So grateful!

We still need your help, please donate to our project!!!
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$4,239 of $13.5k goal

Raised by 34 people in 18 months
Created October 24, 2015
FP
$225
FEUSA Paris
8 months ago (Offline Donation)

Lighting technician payment assistance.

IA
$100
Igor Akselrud
10 months ago (Offline Donation)
MW
$120
Margot Woods
12 months ago
MR
$20
Marie Roure
12 months ago (Monthly Donation)
EK
$100
Elena Konstantynova
13 months ago (Offline Donation)
I(
$50
Irina Balinskaya (Levitan)
13 months ago

Good luck !

OK
$33
olena kuzmuk
13 months ago
1
1
BC
$50
Benedict Camberbatch
13 months ago

Sorry, tough schedule. Good luck on Friday!!!

$50
Anonymous
13 months ago
DA
$50
Dumka A
13 months ago

I'll be always on your side, dear Elina! All the best for the 1st of April(I'm working that day and sorry not to be able to come). You can reach me anytime you want, if you need! Will be very glad, if I can do something. :) Lots of love and kisses!

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