They have escaped from the war, and are going to create an orchestra. “Instead of weapons – tools”

  • In a gesture of solidarity with the victims of the war in Ukraine, the New York Metropolitan Opera and the Warsaw Grand Theatre – Warsaw National Opera decided to create the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra
  • The members of the orchestra are refugees who were recently forced to leave their country, Ukrainian musicians belonging to European orchestras, as well as notable musicians among them. Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Odessa
  • The orchestra will be conducted by Keri Lynn Wilson. “This trip is an expression of their love for their country and a tribute to those who died and suffered a lot” – he says
  • The musicians will begin rehearsals on July 18 in Warsaw. The tour’s opening concert will take place on July 28 at Teatr Wielki – the Polish National Opera. The costs for its organization and accommodation of musicians in Warsaw are funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
  • The Ukrainian Freedom Philharmonic Tour will help raise funds to support Ukrainian artists – they will be transferred to the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine
  • You can find more of these stories on the Onet homepage

The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra was formed from Ukrainian musicians who have recently left their country, who are still residing in their country, and from those who play in European orchestras on a daily basis.

Music can be a powerful weapon against aggression. This concert tour aims to defend Ukrainian art and heroic artists who are fighting for the freedom of their homeland

– Written in a joint statement Mitt General Director Peter Gelb and Director Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera Waldemar Debrowski.

The members of the orchestra include refugees who were recently forced to leave their country, Ukrainian musicians belonging to a European orchestra, as well as prominent musicians from Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Odessa and other parts of the country. On a daily basis they are associated, among others with the Kyiv National Opera, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra and the Kharkiv Opera House, as well as with foreign ensembles such as the Vienna Tonkönstler Orchestra, the Belgian National Orchestra and the Royal Concert Khebau Orchestra.

The Ukrainian authorities granted special permission to participate in the project to men of military agethanks to them they will take their instruments in their hands instead of weapons and in this unusual way they will show the strength of art in the face of adversity ”- it is written in the material telling about the creation of the orchestra.

The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will be conducted by Keri Lynn Wilson, the Ukrainian-Canadian conductor, who was raised in Winnipeg, Canada – the largest center of the Ukrainian diaspora in North America.

I wanted to create for the best Ukrainian orchestra musicians, both residing in the country and working abroad, an opportunity to show artistic unity and pride

– Says the conductor. “I am very happy to be able to lead these talented artists through their shows in Europe and the USA. This tour is an expression of their love for their country and a tribute to those who died and suffered so much“.

The inaugural program includes: Symphony No. 7 by Ukrainian composer Valentin Siloastro, Piano Concerto No. 2 by Frederic Chopin with the participation of young Ukrainian piano talent Anna Fedorois, and Symphony No. 4 by Johannes Brahms.

Ludmiła Monastyrska, a leading Ukrainian soprano, will perform the main part of Turandot at the Met Opera this spring, singing Leonora’s song “Abscheulicher!” From Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Fidelia”, Who Do You Think It is “a hymn to humanity and peace in the face of violence and cruelty.”.

The musicians will begin their intensive rehearsals on July 18 in Warsaw. The tour’s opening concert will take place on July 28 at Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera. Then the orchestra will perform during BBC Proms in London (31 July) Munich (1 August), During the Chorégies d’Orange Festival In southern France (2 August), s Konzerthaus Berlin (August 4th) during Edinburgh Festival (August 6), in St. barley sprouts (August 8), dated Concertgebouw Festival in Amsterdam (August 11) and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie (13 August).

On August 16, the orchestra will fly to the United States, where it will perform concerts at St. Lincoln Center in New York (August 18 and 19) and Kennedy Center in Washington (20 August).

The Metropolitan Opera and Teatr Wielki – the Polish national opera from the very beginning supported the victims of the war and condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Met was one of the first theaters to organize a charity concert for Ukraine under the direction of music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The event took place on March 14 and was widely covered in the international press. The Grand Theater hosts refugees from Ukraine under its roof, organizes concerts and raises funds to help fight the neighbours.

The costs of organizing the concert and accommodation of musicians in Warsaw, by decision of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and National Heritage A. Piotr Gliński, will be covered by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Ukraine’s Minister of Culture, Oleksandr Tkachenko, welcomed the initiative with joy. “Today, culture appears to us from a completely different angle – as an instrument of the so-called soft power, which helps in healing wounds. And not only metaphorically” – he said.

The tour of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will help raise funds to support Ukrainian artists, and at the same time will show the world the diversity and excellence of Ukrainian music and artists.

The Minister noted, adding:Ukrainian culture is very original and deserves the full attention of foreign audiences. We are grateful to our international partners to organize this project.”

The tour producer for the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra is the British artistic agency Askonas Holt, one of the largest such organizations in the world. Sponsors include Bloomberg, the Ford Foundation, Rolex and United Airlines. The money collected during the tour will be donated to the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture to help the artists.

The practice of forming gangs in the face of terrorism and in the name of peace has a long tradition. The roots of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra go back to the 1930s, when Bronislaw Hubermann wanted to save Jewish musicians in Palestine from the Holocaust.. Founded in 1999 by conductor Daniel Barenboim and Palestinian scholar Edward W. Said, the Western and Eastern Diwan Orchestra includes musicians from Israel and Arab countries. The Afghan National Conservatory of Music, which has been a target of Taliban attacks for many years, gave international performances to Afghan bands before the Taliban took control of the country in 2021.

It is noteworthy that Ministerial support was also given to the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra, the Słobożański Youth Academic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine from Kharkiv and the National Song and Dance Ensemble of Ukraine. Grigoria Weryovka from Kyiv “Veryovka”. KSO found shelter in Poland, as well as working conditions and trials. “Słobożański” and “Veryovka” will come to Poland in early May and June – the orchestra from Kharkiv from May 10 to June 16 will reside on the campus of the European Music Center. Krzysztof Penderecki in Lusławice; Earlier, in the second half of May, at the headquarters of the “Alinsk” vocal and dance ensemble Stanislaw Hadina will host a troupe from Kyiv. Thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture, they will have the conditions to train and prepare for their tour. The costs of residency for Ukrainian artists will be covered by the Ministry of Culture and National HeritageWho will be preparing for upcoming shows in Europe at “matecznik” from “ląska”. The Minister of Culture and National Heritage, a. Piotr Gliński, Ambassador of Ukraine Andriy Deszczyca during the meeting on April 13.

source: Metropolitan Opera, Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, PAP

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