Renowned cellist and Principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Julian Lloyd Webber, is lending his support to a new on-line concert series initiative by ‘Art Saves Us’, launched to support the incredible work carried out by NHS staff in these challenging times.

‘Art Saves Us’ was founded by Shanghai-born, London-based Kailan Lucas, a US lawyer and current Senior Advisor-Global Services for JAMS, an American alternative dispute resolution firm. Her creative focus is on Sino-European cultural exchanges in the worlds of art, literature and music, having founded and curated the First Shanghai International Poetry Festival. ‘Art Saves Us’ is proud to count leading figures from the arts as its main supporters, including Nobel Literary Prize Nominee, the poet Adonis; cellist, Julian Lloyd Webber; former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion; architect Patrik Schumacher, Head of Zaha Hadid Architects practice and leading contemporary Chinese artist, Xu Bing from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Each one hour on-line event to be held on Fridays at 3pm UK time (7am PST, 10am EST and 10pm Beijing time) on Zoom, starting 3rd April, will feature a different rich and diverse mix from the arts world, deftly blending genres such as music, drama, poetry, ballet, story-telling and Chinese folk music, to name but a few.

The line-up for the first concert includes English violinist, Andrew Bernardi from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; leading Chinese violinist, Chai Liang from the Central Conservatory of Music, China; archive performance footage featuring Julian Lloyd Webber; reading by Sir Andrew Motion; He Wu, a young Chinese opera singer affiliated to the Central Conservatory of Music, China and Chinese artist and fashion designer, Xu Rui, former Head of the Fashion Department of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Noted Julian Lloyd Webber: “In these immensely difficult times, it’s vital that we all pull together and demonstrate the power of music and all the arts - not only to build bridges between nations and demonstrate the power of our global connections - but to help raise money, in this case for our wonderful NHS staff, who are doing their utmost in the face of unprecedented adversity”.

Ms Kailan Lucas, whose work with ‘Art Saves Us’ has already raised more than £32,000 for vital Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to aid health workers at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Art is one of humanity’s most coveted treasures, solace to many, particularly during times of crisis. Art transcends borders, unites people regardless of race, religion or nationality. The mission of ‘Art Saves Us’ is to use the unifying power of all aspects of the arts to raise funds and donate to people and organisations in need as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19. We hope that these on-line events can help illuminate the lives of many in such challenging times”.

Sir Andrew Motion commented: “This is a wonderful initiative. When we’re confined and anxious ourselves, it reminds us how art can connect and console, as well as challenge, stimulate and provoke. Better still, it’s practical as well as inspiring – helping to support the NHS in this time of urgent need”.

Further events are planned for 10th, 17th and 24th April with more to be added in due course as the current health crisis unfolds. Event access will be a nominal £1 to help support the NHS.

Follow ‘Art Saves Us’ on social media:

Instagram: ArtSavesUsUK
Twitter: ArtSavesUsUK
Facebook: ArtSavesUsUK
WeChat: ArtSavesUsUK