Orchestra of the Swan joins Jim Broadbent, Samuel West, Michael Collins and Royal Shakespeare Company for concert in aid of Ukraine
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Sunday 8 May 2022, 18:00
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

An Evening of Words and Music for the People of Ukraine

The State Anthem of Ukraine
Max Richter ‘On the Nature of Daylight’
Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A Major
Barber Adagio for Strings
Mozart Symphony No. 41 in C Major

Orchestra of the Swan
Michael Collins conductor, clarinet
Jim Broadbent, Samuel West actors
The Orchestra of the Swan in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Stratford-upon-Avon musical festival will take part in a one-off fundraising event An Evening of Words and Music for the People of Ukraine at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Sunday 8 May 2022. Multi award-winning actor Jim Broadbent and English stage and television actor and voiceover artist Samuel West join the Swan’s Principal Conductor and clarinetist Michael Collins in a programme of music and play readings drawn from both Shakespeare’s own works and the works of contemporary writers.
Produced by Stratford-upon-Avon Music Festival in partnership with the Orchestra of the Swan, this fundraising event will show solidarity and support for those affected by the war in Ukraine. All proceeds raised from the event will be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine humanitarian relief effort.
The Swan will perform The State Anthem of Ukraine; ‘Glory and freedom of Ukraine has not yet Perished’ which was formally adopted by the country less than three decades ago, following its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and Max Richter’s ‘On The Nature of Daylight’; originally composed in the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq as part of ‘The Blue Notebooks’ and described by Richter as “a protest album and…a meditation on violence”.
The concert also features a special performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major by renowned English clarinetist Michael Collins, the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor, and a rendition of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, a work originally broadcast alongside the radio announcement of President Roosevelt’s death in 1945 and which famously featured in Oliver Stone’s 1986 film Platoon. Concluding the evening’s programme is Mozart’s orchestral masterpiece; Symphony No. 41 in C Major or ‘Jupiter’ Symphony, a piece widely regarded as the largest and most complex of Mozart’s symphonies and which helped cement his reputation as one of the greatest classical composers of all time.
David Le Page, Artistic Director of The Swan explains his choice of repertoire:
“Mozart’s final symphony is one of the greatest works of art ever conceived but it has an extraordinarily uplifting quality that seems to encapsulate the triumph of the human spirit in situations of extreme adversity. Mozart speaks with a universal voice that transcends borders, walls and barriers and hints at the better qualities of the European ideal – notions of working together for a common cause and empathy for fellow human beings regardless of their origin.”
Michael Collins’ distinguished musical career has seen him perform with orchestras worldwide including Minnesota Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Rheinische Philharmonie, Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and Kuopio Symphony Orchestra. Michael has long been committed to expanding the repertoire of the clarinet and was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year Award in 2007 in recognition of his pivotal role in premiering repertoire by some of today’s most highly regarded composers.
Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, says:
“The thoughts of the RSC are with everyone affected by the war in Ukraine and we are pleased that the Royal Shakespeare Theatre can be the venue for a moving evening of music, readings and reflection. We know that this humanitarian fundraising will make a difference to those finding themselves in such dreadful and difficult situations as a result of this frightening conflict.”
John Liggins, Chairman of the Orchestra of the Swan went on to say:
“When we were first approached by the Stratford Music Festival and asked if we could perform, the enthusiasm was palpable! Michael Collins and our players are volunteering their time for this vital and humanitarian cause and we are proud to be part of it.”
Joint Chairman of the Stratford on Avon Music Festival, Ray Coyte said:
We launched this project only a few short weeks ago and have been very moved by the enthusiastic support from the Orchestra of the Swan and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Both organisations are busy with their own professional productions and yet somehow they have found a way to help enable this fundraising evening to happen. It is going to be a fabulous evening of Words and Music.”
Tickets for the event are now on sale via the RSC box office. For more information and to book, call 01789 331111 or visit rsc.org.uk
Sunday 8 May 2022, 18:00
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Tickets £20-£50

An Evening of Words and Music for the People of Ukraine
‘Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy i slava, i volia’ (‘Glory and freedom of Ukraine has not yet Perished’ / The State Anthem of Ukraine). Based on the poem by Pavlo Chubynsky
Max Richter ‘On the Nature of Daylight’
Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A Major
Barber Adagio for Strings
Mozart Symphony No. 41 in C Major

Orchestra of the Swan
Michael Collins conductor, clarinet
Jim Broadbent, Samuel West actors