March 22, 2022 – University of Wisconsin-River Falls music lecturer and piano instructor Ivan Konev is grateful he is still able to text his aunt who is caring for his grandmother in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, to get updates on how his family is doing as Russian attacks continue in the country.

The internet is still working there, and they have access to water, Konev, of Shoreview, Minn., said, noting other parts of the country have not been so fortunate.

“They have been spending a lot of time in a bomb shelter because of the air raid alerts,” he noted, adding he also has cousins living in the area. “It is terrible to see all the ruins there. It’s heartbreaking.”

Konev, who was born in Ukraine, and his spouse, Natalia Moiseeva, a UWRF lecturer of music, violin and viola, are taking part in a fundraising concert at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, at The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, 410 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis.

All donations collected will be designated for Ukraine relief efforts through Eastern Europe Crisis Response or Lutheran Disaster Response. Checks made out to either of those organizations are preferred. The fundraiser is co-presented by The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis and Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church.

Konev will be a featured performer with Isles Ensemble, an 11-member chamber orchestra he is part of. The group will perform chamber music by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky as well as several works by Ukrainian performers.

Moiseeva will be a guest performer during the concert.

Ambassador Eric Rubin, president of the American Foreign Service Association, former U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria and former deputy political counselor to Kyiv, Ukraine, will speak.

Founded in 2004, Isle Ensemble’s mission is to build a vibrant chamber music community in the Twin Cities. The group has Sunday concerts at Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church. Members of the group regularly perform in the Minnesota Orchestra and teach on the faculties of the universities of Minnesota, the International Cello Institute, and Carleton and Macalester colleges. To learn more, visit the website https://islesensemble.org.

Konev and Moiseeva have performed in the past in Ukraine and wanted to help raise funds for relief efforts. Konev has performed with the Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra and Yalta Symphony Orchestra in Ukraine.

“I just really want to make a contribution to easing the situation there,” Konev said. “There are millions of refugees, and they need help. I felt we needed to do something, especially because I have strong connections to the country.”

Konev completed his bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Music College affiliated with the Moscow Conservatory and his master’s degree in piano performance from Gnessin’s Music Academy. He earned his doctoral degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota.

Moiseeva earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia.

For more information on the fundraiser, contact Kevin Winge, Woman’s Club executive director, at [email protected] or at 612-813-5324.

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