Orchestra channels the power of music

Maestra Véronique Lussier and the I Medici di McGill Orchestra receive a standing ovation after their benefit concert in support of Ukraine and MSF’s emergency fund. Canada, 2022

An intergenerational group of McGill University doctors and medical students, who share a passion for the healing power of both medicine and music, came together in Montreal on April 3 to perform a benefit concert in support of Ukraine and the Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) general emergency fund.

Bobbi Jo Hart Public engagement and events officer

Since their inaugural season in 1989, the I Medici di McGill (“Physicians of McGill”) orchestra has regularly organized and performed benefit concerts for a variety of medical, social and cultural causes.

Guest conductor Maestra Véronique Lussier led the ensemble, with pianist and med- ical student Emily Oulousian performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Two Ukrainian folk songs were performed by Trio Rossa.

Attended by over 500 people, including many from Montreal’s Ukrainian community, the event surpassed an initial goal set by I Medici organizers to raise $10,000 for the MSF general emergency fund.

Trained as a musician, physician and scien- tist, the orchestra’s founder and director, Dr. Ante Padjen previously organized an I Medici benefit concert in support of MSF. “The invasion of Ukraine, causing tremen- dous loss of live and senseless destruction, reminds us of a similar war 30 years ago in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. I Medici di McGill, then and now, contributed with a benefit concert for MSF,” says Padjen.

Unrestricted funding to MSF’s general emergency fund gives our teams the flex- ibility to respond whenever and wherever the needs are greatest in more than 70 countries around the world, including to people affected by the war in Ukraine. When emergencies arise, we are able to act immediately without waiting for official funds to be released or for fundraising appeals to launch.