Keri-Lynn Wilson leads the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, which gave an outdoor concert in Berlin last week as part of a European tour.


In Sunday’s (8/27) New York Times, Ben Miller writes, “The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, a touring ensemble formed in the early months of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, presented Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in the suburbs of Berlin on Thursday. And, for the famous ‘Ode to Joy’ choral finale, the text was translated to Ukrainian, with the key word being ‘slava,’ or glory, as in ‘Slava Ukrainii: Glory to Ukraine. ‘I’m driven by my passion for Ukraine,’ the orchestra’s conductor, Keri-Lynn Wilson, said on Thursday afternoon before the concert, at the garden of Schönhausen Palace. ‘And my desire to get rid of Putin and his regime through culture.’… The orchestra, made up of 74 Ukrainian musicians—some of whom live in that country still, some of whom have fled—was about to perform as part of its second summer tour of Europe. ‘Russia says there’s no Ukrainian culture, or music, or language,’ said Anna Bura, a violinist in the orchestra. ‘They want to erase Ukrainian culture. We want to show people we are here.’ The program included the second violin concerto by the contemporary Ukrainian composer Yevhen Stankovych … Wilson …worked with Mykola Lukas and … Ivgeniia Iermachkova to create a new singing translation of the Friedrich Schiller text [for the Beethoven score].”