Can you tell us about the two associations for which you are an ambassador?
SOS Children’s Villages does far-reaching work all over the world: They give children in need a home, a family and an education in a very caring and loving way. In addition, they support poor families and have local projects to meet the special needs of the people who live there, including drinking water, medical supplies and medicines.
I am also an ambassador for the José Carreras Foundation against leukemia, which aims to make leukemia curable. They build transplant units and hospitals, invest money in research to treat and cure all kinds of blood cancers, and support the families of patients.
My father was diagnosed with leukemia in 2018 and was treated at a José Carreras transplant unit in Germany. Since then, I know the very important work they do. Even though my father did not survive this horrible disease, I still support the fight against leukemia and I wish nothing more than that it becomes curable one day so that families don’t have to suffer so much.
The connection with the SOS Children’s Village is not as deep, but of course I know them and their fantastic work from my own childhood – where I also experienced how important music can be in situations difficult life. That’s why I love working with children and bringing music into their lives, because I know the comforting and healing power of music.
How do you think you can help people in need through musical creation? In what ways do you use music to help you?
Of course, there is an easy way to give charity concerts where you raise money and maybe raise awareness and convince people to donate to worthy projects. Moreover, music itself can develop a strong and powerful positive impact on people; it can give motivation, comfort, inspiration, hope and joy.
On concert tours with my piano partner Julian Riem, we visit an SOS Children’s Village whenever possible to make music with and for them. Once, we were lucky enough to be able to stay three days in a village in Lebanon to give a music workshop. It was such an intense moment, we played, danced, sang and clapped with them. We even did some choreography. It was deeply moving to see how the children worked with concentration and intensity, how they developed self-awareness and surpassed themselves. We were overwhelmed with the children’s pride and joy at a final performance and how their eyes lit up. Some of them told us it was the happiest time of their lives.
German cellist Raphaela Gromes is signed to Sony Music Classical and releases her latest album ‘Imagination’ Last year. She is an Opus Klassik Prize winner, has performed under the musical direction of Kent Nagano, has toured the United States and South Korea, and is planning her next tour in Central America. She is an ambassador of the SOS Children’s Villages around the world and for the José Carreras Foundation against leukemia.