Students supported a benefit concert to build a Memorial for body donors

The fundraiser for the memorial to the body donors is moving into its next phase. At the end of it, a memorial will be built to honour those who have chosen to donate their bodies for teaching and research purposes. This year, students of the Faculty of Medicine at Masaryk University will support the fundraising with a series of fundraising events. The first concert featured violin virtuoso Josef Špaček.

18 May 2023

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Marek Joukal, the head of the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Medicine at Masaryk University, came up with the idea of building a memorial to the body donors. Under his leadership, students from the Medical Students' Association took it up and the first money began to arrive in the transparent account two years ago. This year, the future doctors want to organise a series of fundraising events, through which they intend to support not only the collection, but also to spread awareness of body donation itself.

"Anatomy is absolutely fundamental to the study of medicine. And even though students have detailed plastic models, detailed anatomical atlases and modern simulation technologies that my generation could only dream of, none of this is a substitute for working with the real human body," says Joukal, adding that the Masaryk University Faculty of Medicine provides teaching thanks to the Body Donation Programme.

The first benefit concert for the construction of this memorial was held on 5 May in the "Red Church" on Komenský náměstí in Brno. It featured a performance by one of the best violinists of his generation, the young Czech virtuoso Josef Špaček, accompanied by the Collegium musicum chamber orchestra under the baton of conductor Filip Urban. Jean Sibelius' "Pelléas et Mélisande" and Beethoven's "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 61" were performed.

For Josef Špaček, this was a triple exceptional opportunity to collaborate. Firstly, in connection with the students and teachers of the Faculty of Medicine of MU, from whose ranks the members of the non-professional chamber orchestra were recruited, in connection with the unusual venue, but also with regard to the purpose of the concert, which was to support the collection for the construction of a memorial to the body donors. It is not without interest that Josef Špaček's sister is a recent graduate of medicine and in the family the profession of a doctor is held by Josef's uncle, for example.

At the age of twenty-four, Josef Špaček became the youngest ever concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, which he left during COVID era, but he knew it was the right path for him. He likes to play and he likes to practise when he is in the mood to play. He is also an avid cyclist. And although a soloist, during the concert it was impossible not to notice his exquisite interplay with the first violinist of the orchestra.

The proceeds from the voluntary entrance fee amounted to almost 16 thousand crowns. For more information about the Daruj (se) campaign, visit the website

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