Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra

Symphonic orchestra

The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra is an orchestra composed of Ukrainian refugees who have fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Ukrainian members of other European orchestras.[1][2] Canadian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson, who has Ukrainian ancestry, provided the impetus for the creation of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra,[3][4] which the Metropolitan Opera of New York and the Polish National Opera immediately supported as a gesture of solidarity with the victims of the war in Ukraine.[5][6]

History

The 74 musicians, all Ukrainians – recent refugees, Ukrainian members from some European orchestras (e.g. Tonkünstler Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)[7] and some of the top musicians of Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Odesa and elsewhere in Ukraine – assembled in Warsaw 10 days before the inaugural concert for intensive rehearsals.[6] The inaugural concert was held in Warsaw on July 28 (2022) at the Polish National Opera.[4] The programme of this concert included the 7th Symphony by the Ukrainian composer Valentyn Silvestrov, Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (soloist: Anna Fedorova), Leonore's aria Abscheulicher! Wo eilst du hin? from Beethoven’s opera Fidelio (soloist: Liudmyla Monastyrska) and the 4th Symphony in E-minor by Johannes Brahms.[8][7] On July 31 the Orchestra performed the same programme at the 2022 BBC Proms, a performance that was hailed by The Guardian as "highly impressive and deeply moving".[9][6]

The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra continued its world concert tour with concerts in the United Kingdom – Edinburgh (Edinburgh International Festival) and Snape (Snape Maltings, Suffolk), Germany – Munich (Isar Philharmonic Hall), Berlin (Konzerthaus) and Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie), France – Orange (Chorégies d'Orange Festival, Vaucluse), Netherlands – Amsterdam (Royal Concertgebouw Festival) and Ireland – Dublin (National Concert Hall). In European cultural capitals the orchestra was greeted with standing ovations and positive reviews from critics.[10] The tour concluded with concerts in New York (Lincoln Center) on 18 and 19 August 2022 and in Washington DC (Kennedy Center) on 20 August.[6][4] The New York Times acclaimed the Lincoln Center performance as "admirably even-keeled and soft-spoken, an embodiment of a cultured nation".[11]

"I wanted to bring together Ukraine’s best orchestral musicians from home and abroad to demonstrate a proud artistic unity.
We are fighting on the cultural front for the freedom of Ukraine."

References

  1. ^ "BBC Proms 2022: Ukrainian refugee orchestra among the line-up". BBC News. April 26, 2022.
  2. ^ Hernández, Javier C. (April 25, 2022). "Denouncing War, Ukrainian Musicians Unite for a World Tour". The New York Times.
  3. ^ ARTE Concert: Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra – Das Gründungskonzert live aus Warschau. 29 July 2022. Retrieved 31 July 2022. (in German)
  4. ^ a b c The Guardian / Shaun Walker: ‘Channelling our anger’: Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra heads for the Proms. 29 July 2022. Retrieved 1 August 2022
  5. ^ a b BR-Klassik: Das Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra. 26 July 2022. Retrieved 31 july 2022. (in German)
  6. ^ a b c d The Metropolitan Opera: Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  7. ^ a b Musik Heute: Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra – Das Eröffnungskonzert aus Warschau. 31 July 2022. Retrieved 1 August 2022. (in German)
  8. ^ Polish National Opera: Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  9. ^ "Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra review – tears and roars of delight for new national ensemble". The Guardian. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
  10. ^ "An Orchestra Supports Ukraine, and Reunites a Couple Parted by War". New York Times. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  11. ^ "Review: A Ukrainian Orchestra Speaks With Quiet Intensity". The New York Times. Retrieved 2022-08-29.
  12. ^ BR-Klassik: Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra auf Welttournee. 27 July 2022. Retrieved 2 August 2022. (in German)
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