Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, many Ukrainian musicians have been forced to flee their homeland. This spring brought multiple announcements of performances by Ukrainian musicians in Europe and elsewhere. In April, the Metropolitan Opera and the Polish National Opera announced a new Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra that will tour Europe and the U.S. this summer. The orchestra’s musicians come from European and Ukrainian ensembles including the Kyiv National Opera, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, and Kharkiv Opera. Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson, who is married to Met Opera General Director Peter Gelb, will lead concerts in Poland, France, Germany, the U.K., New York City, and Washington, D.C. In addition to music by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and Dvořák, concerts will feature Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov’s Seventh Symphony. A separate Europe tour by musicians of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra began in April with performances in Poland and Germany. The orchestra describes the tour, named “Voice of Ukraine,” as a form of cultural diplomacy. In Germany, an orchestra of displaced Ukrainians, “Mriya,” was formed in March and has been performing at the Berliner Philharmonie, home of the Berlin Philharmonic. That ensemble’s conductor, Margaryta Grynyvetskam, is conductor of the Odesa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater.
Caption: A marketing image announcing the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, which will tour Europe and the United States this summer.