Concert raises £1,000 for Highbury Roundhouse

Conductor Samuel Burstin praised the players’ enthusiasm for the cause.

An orchestra on Saturday raised over £1,000 for a struggling community centre in Highbury, which was scheduled to be demolished by the council two years ago.

Paradisal Players – a London-based classical ensemble – staged a concert at Christ Church on Highbury Grove to help rebuild the Highbury Roundhouse Community Centre, which was controversially deemed too dilapidated to repair by the council in 2010.

The Save Highbury Roundhouse charity has been struggling to raise enough money to rebuild the centre ever since.

The conductor of the orchestra, Samuel Burstin, explained that although £1,000 was “just a drop in the ocean of what they need to raise”, he was happy to stage the concert for a “good local cause”.

Mr Burstin, whose day job is playing viola for the London Philharmonia Orchestra, is a Highbury resident with strong family ties to the area.

He said the Paradisal Players were “phenomenally brilliant” musicians who mostly work for top London orchestras.

He said: “As they are doing it for a good cause rather than thinking about how much they are earning, the energy they give is amazing. Everyone was thrilled by the end of the night.”