As reported by ABC News, the virtual project was arranged by award-winning British violinist Kerenza Peacock, who reached out to violinists around the world to perform in a video with violinists sheltering in Ukraine.
“On the day Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine, I was at home practicing,” Peacock explained in the press release. “I wondered what my Ukrainian counterparts were doing at that moment, so I took to Instagram and befriended some violinists in Ukraine.
“Some were hiding in basements and bomb shelters in Kyiv, but still had their violins with them,” she continued. “Devastated to hear the explosions were so close, and desperate to offer some comfort, I asked one of them, young virtuoso Illia Bondarenko, if he would film himself playing in his basement shelter.”
Peacock also began asking other violinists in Ukraine and international colleagues to play along with Bondarenko in harmony. “In the space of 48 hours, I received videos from 94 violinists, representing over 25 different countries,” she stated.
The final video – featuring an old Ukrainian folk song titled Verbovaya Doschechka – begins with Bondarenko, who had to record between explosions, because he could not hear himself play.
The clip pans out to feature eight other violinists from Ukraine before zooming out to include musicians from around the world including those of the London Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, and Oslo Philharmonic.
The video can be watched below.
Renowned players in the project include Maggie O Connor, Brittany Haas, Sara Watkins, Gabe Witcher, plus international soloist Daniel Hope, who had also once coached Bondarenko.
More featured violinists involve those from the Hollywood Studios, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium, Georgia, Poland, South Korea, South Africa, Moldova, Denmark, India, as well as Munich Chamber Orchestra’s entire violin section.
Peacock further shared her correspondence with 23-year-old Ukrainian violinist, Mariia Klymenko, who relayed that as she was recording for the virtual concert, her brothers were defending their country.
“[Mariia] said more Ukrainians wanted to join us but they now have guns in their hands instead of violins,” Peacock expressed. “The violin has traditionally been an instrument through which to express grief. Watching each video as it arrived in my inbox was very emotional. It seems like everyone is praying with their violins.
“Never before have violinists gathered together from so many countries,” she continued. “We are playing for peace, and encourage everyone to find a way to help Ukraine. From the world’s greatest orchestras, to a lone fiddler in the Scottish highlands, we support Ukraine,” she said.
To donate and support Ukraine, click here.
In solidarity with Ukraine, Peacock encourages violinists to download the score of the video’s music and create their own recording, playing along with the video and posting it to social media using the #ViolinistsSupportUkraine hashtag.