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Newly Formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra to Tour U.S. and Europe


In this new initiative, the Metropolitan Opera and the Polish National Opera will gather 75 leading Ukrainian musicians to form the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra.

Ukraine's Ministry of Culture and Information Policy is exempting male musicians from military service, in an act of support of the arts.  

Under the leadership of Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson, the tour will be held from July 28 through August 20. It will include stops in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, before ending with concerts in New York and Washington, DC.

An intensive rehearsal period will be held in Warsaw on July 18, before the opening concert at the Teatr Wielki–Polish National Opera on July 28.

Following that, the orchestra will play at the opening weekend of the BBC Proms on July 13. The program, which will continue throughout the tour, is to include Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov's Seventh Symphony, Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 with pianist Anna Fedorova, and the aria Abscheulicher! from Beethoven's Fidelio with soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska.

This year's Proms, which will feature 84 concerts and more than 3,000 international performers, it has been announced that Russian musicians and conductors will be allowed to perform. This decision comes amidst many other organizations banning Russian artists from participating due to their nationality.

The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will then proceed to Munich on August 1, the Chorégies d’Orange Festival in France on August 2, the Berlin Konzerthaus on August 4, the Edinburgh International Festival on August 6, Snape Maltings in England on August 8, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Festival on August 11, and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie on August 13.

The orchestra will then travel for concerts at New York's Lincoln Center on August 18 and 19, followed by the last performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, on August 20.

The money raised from the tour will go to support Ukrainian artists. Donations can be made to the Ministry of Culture at

In a joint statement, the Met's General Manager Peter Gelb and Waldemar Dabrowski, the director of the Teatr Wielki–Polish National Opera, said, “Music can be a powerful weapon against oppression. This tour is meant to defend Ukrainian art and its brave artists as they fight for the freedom of their country.”

"Today, culture is showing a completely new side," said Ukraine’s minister of culture, Oleksandr Tkachenko. "It can also be the ‘soft power’ that helps heal wounds. And not only in a figurative sense. This tour of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra can help not only to raise funds for supporting Ukrainian artists, it will show the world the diversity and uniqueness of Ukrainian music and Ukrainian performers.

"Ukrainian culture is original and deserves to be at the center of attention abroad," he added. "We thank our international colleagues for producing the tour."


august, 2022


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