A group of musicians is rehearsing hard for a benefit concert this Sunday in Eemnes. The goal: to raise money for conductor Lex Bak (40), who suffers from a rare form of cancer.
“Euro 300,000 is needed for treatment and research in the US. We are happy to contribute to that,” says organizer Rob van den Bosch. Lex’s story is very close to his heart. “He is still so young and then he gets cancer like this… With a two-year-old daughter, you don’t wish him that.”
Conductor and music teacher Lex Bak is well known in the music world. Now that he is terminally ill, musicians from all over the world come together to help him. At the Princess Irene Music Association in Huizen, where he conducted the youth orchestra for many years, the occasional orchestra has been rehearsing hard for weeks.
More than a year ago a tumor was discovered in Lex, who lives in Noordbeemster with his wife and daughter. An operation gave him a partial spinal cord injury and bad news: the cancer turned out to be very malignant. “The situation is stable at the moment,” says Lex, who had to learn to walk again. “But once the tumor starts growing again, it can go fast.”
In the Netherlands there are few options for treating this type of cancer. That’s why Lex’s wife, Sarina Bak-Hitzerd, is a crowdfunding campaign started. “I’m lucky that she has a master’s degree in oncology, she’s in touch with doctors all over the world to find a solution,” Lex says.
The counter of the collection now stands at 71,150 euros, the goal is 300,000 euros. Rob van den Bosch and Pieter Senden are organizing the concert to contribute to this. “It’s nice to see how the music connects,” says Rob. “Everyone cooperates selflessly. The musicians have even paid money to participate in this project.”
“If a few famous football players come, then that crowdfunding will fill up!”
His saxophone teacher from the past also signed up, as a soloist she stands for the orchestra. “I didn’t have to think twice about that, I like to do this for Lex,” says Ati Lust. “I remember when he came to lessons as a boy of nine. He never practiced, but he had talent, so the lessons were always fun.”
Conductor Kees Kramer encourages everyone to come and listen on Sunday. “It will be a fantastic concert. The music is great and the musicians are enthusiastic and very good, that gives goosebumps. And with your ticket you also support Lex in his fight.”
If it’s up to Ati, it won’t stop at one concert. “Just a concert somewhere for Lex every month, I think that’s a good idea. “And if a few famous football players come along, the crowdfunding will fill up so quickly!”
Lex ended up in a wheelchair after his surgery
The concert is next Sunday in Eemnes
Lex with his wife Sarina and their daughter Sofie (2)
Despite his spinal cord injury, Lex conducts part of the concert himself. He is very impressed with all the effort. “It is heartwarming that everyone is so committed. I am very grateful for that.”
Music companies are also busy organizing benefit concerts for Lex in Heiloo (spring) and Assendelft (April 3).
The concert is on Sunday at 3.30 pm in Het Huis van Eemnes. tickets costs 15,- euros each and this amount goes to the crowdfunding.