Ukrainian Musicians Call for Peace

Although many have fled Ukraine, the musicians who have remained are finding ways to protest the war through public, patriotic performances

(Photo credit: Gleb Garanich)


The musicians of Ukraine are finding a range of ways to make themselves heard, despite the continuing invasion of their homeland. Several public performances with a nationalistic bent have taken place to bolster public spirits, while music is also serving as a comfort to those who are weathering air attacks in bomb shelters.

As reported by Global News, the remaining members of the Kyiv-Classic Symphony Orchestra recently assembled in Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the city's central square that is dedicated to Ukrainian independence, to play an open-air concert as Russian forces advance into Ukraine.

Conductor Herman Makarenko described the concert as a "call for peace." He said the orchestra ordinarily has between 65 and 70 members, but only around 20 have remained in the city since the war began.

The orchestra performed the Ukrainian national anthem, as well as an excerpt from Beethoven's Ode to Joy, which serves as the anthem of the European Union.

The concert, which was titled "Free Sky," was broadcast live on a number of Ukrainian TV channels. Dozens of people gathered in the square to watch the performance, with some waving large Ukrainian flags.

"We would like to support our president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who called, calls and will call to all governments of the world [to] stop the war in Ukraine,” Makarenko said.


As reported by the AFP News Agency, members of the Odessa National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet staged a similar outdoor concert in their own city, performing the Ukrainian national anthem as part of a plea for a no-fly zone to be imposed in the airspace over Ukraine.

You can watch a short clip of the performance here.

"Today, our opera collective is appealing in one united voice: listen to us and close the sky over Ukraine," said a spokesperson for the group. "Save the people's lives."

Meanwhile, clips have surfaced of Ukrainian violinist Vera Lytovchenko playing a lullaby to soothe a frightened child as she and eleven others take refuge in a bomb shelter in Kharkiv.

"Bombs can fall everywhere in our city, so we decided to go down in the cellar," Lytovchenko said. “We’re about 12 people now. We have little boys. We have teenagers. We have old women."

"All these people are my brothers and sisters now," she added. "I was trying to make them think about something and not about the war for some minutes while I’m playing."