World tour of Ukrainian orchestra specially composed of refugees and exempted conscripts
3 May 2022 – The specially created Ukraine Freedom Orchestra is coming to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as part of a world tour. Composed of 75 musicians from orchestras and opera houses across Ukraine, they will perform on 11 August 2022 under the direction of the Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson. The orchestra members are refugees or exemptedd Ukrainian conscripts. Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova will solo during the world wtour announced in the New York Times, which in addition to Amsterdam, will visit cities such as London, Berlin and New York. Tickets for the concert in Amsterdam can now be purchased via the Concertgebouw’s website .
The Ukraine Freedom Orchestra is an initiative of the Ukrainian government in partnership with New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Dozens of Ukrainian musicians have been exempted from military service especially for this endeavour. The Polish Ministry of Culture and Polish National Opera support the project, which is based in Warsaw. The tour will start in the Polish capital on 28 July and, following the BBC Proms in London and concerts including Munich and Orange, the musicians will then visit Amsterdam. After performing in the Friends Lottery Summer Concerts at the Concertgebouw, the orchestra will travel on to the United States for concerts in New York and Washington D.C.
The orchestra will be led by Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson, who, looking for ways to help Ukraine, came up with the idea for the project. ‘We are fighting as artistic soldiers, soldiers of music. This gives the musicians a voice and the emotional strength to get through this.’
Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova – who lives in Amsterdam and previously organised a successful benefit concert for Ukraine in Het Concertgebouw – will be soloing in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2. This tour in which she plays together with many friends from her youth is very meaningful for her:
‘I’m very honoured to be part of the international tour of the Ukraine Freedom Orchestra, a fantastic initiative of the Metropolitan Opera and the Polish National Opera. In this way Ukrainian musicians can display their solidarity. They illustrate how music can be a powerful tool to support the many victims of this terrible war and promote unity in the world.’
The line-up also includes the Ukrainian national anthem and Symphony No. 7 by Valentin Silvestrov, the country’s best-known composer who has since fled to Berlin. After the intermission, an aria from Beethoven’s opera Fidelio will be sung by Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrsk, currently a soloist at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Finally, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’ concludes the programme.
Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra
Keri-Lynn Wilson, conductor
Liudmyla Monastyrsk, soprano
Anna Fedorova, pianist
Ukrainian National Anthem (arr. Yuri Shevchenko)
Silvestrov – Symfonie No. 7
Chopin – Piano Concerto No. 2 in f, op. 21
Beethoven – Abscheulicher! Wo eilst du hin?… Komm, Hoffnung, lass den letzten Stern (uit ‘Fidelio’, op. 72)
Dvořák – Symfonie nr. 9 in e, op. 95 ‘Uit de Nieuwe Wereld’
BBC Proms, July 31.