Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra
In another gesture of solidarity with the victims of the war in Ukraine, the Metropolitan Opera and the Polish National Opera will gather leading Ukrainian musicians into the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra for a European and American tour July 28–August 20, including stops in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, before culminating with concerts in New York and Washington, DC. (For tour details and tickets, click here.) Under the leadership of Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson, the orchestra will perform a program that includes Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov’s Seventh Symphony and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with Ukrainian virtuoso Anna Fedorova. Leading Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, who sang the title role of Turandot at the Met in the spring, will perform the great aria “Abscheulicher!” from Beethoven’s Fidelio, a paean to humanity and peace in the face of violence and cruelty.
The orchestra will include recent refugees, Ukrainian members of European orchestras, and some of the top musicians of Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and elsewhere in Ukraine. The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine is supporting the project by addressing the organizational issues of allowing male musicians to put down weapons and take up their instruments in a remarkable demonstration of the power of art over adversity.
The tour has been assembled with the cooperation of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Ministry of Culture, and money raised from the tour will go to support Ukrainian artists. Donations can be made to the Ministry of Culture at https://donate.arts.gov.ua/en.
The Ukrainian Freedom Tour is generously supported by the Ford Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and United Airlines.
July 28: Warsaw (Teatr Wielki–Polish National Opera)
July 31: London (BBC Proms)
August 1: Munich (Isar Philharmonic Hall)
August 2: Orange, France (Chorégies d’Orange Festival)
August 4: Berlin (Konzerthaus)
August 6: Edinburgh (Edinburgh International Festival)
August 8: Snape, England (Snape Maltings)
August 11: Amsterdam (Amsterdam Concertgebouw Festival)
August 13: Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie)
August 15: Dublin (National Concert Hall)
August 18 and 19: New York (Lincoln Center)
August 20: Washington, DC (Kennedy Center)
Click the venue links above for ticketing information.
Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra Tour Biographies
Maestro Keri-Lynn Wilson’s international career as a guest conductor spans more than 20 years, leading some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras—such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks—and operas at the world’s top opera houses, including Covent Garden, the Bavarian State Opera, Bolshoi Theatre, and the Vienna State Opera. Next season, Ms. Wilson will make her Metropolitan Opera debut, conducting Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and will return to Covent Garden to conduct La Traviata. Ms. Wilson’s work has been praised as “vividly shaped and nuanced” by The New York Times, and “elegantly incisive” by The Telegraph. Ms. Wilson received a nomination for conductor of the year from the Opus Klassik 2020 awards for her recording of Rossini’s Sigismondo with the Bayerische Rundfunk.
Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska made her Metropolitan Opera debut singing the title role of Verdi’s Aida in 2012, followed by the title role of Puccini’s Tosca, Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, and Abigaille in Verdi’s Nabucco. This season, she will sing the title role of Puccini’s Turandot at the Met, Abigaille in Nabucco at Covent Garden, and the title role of Aida in Naples and Verona. Recent performance highlights include Aida, Elisabeth in Don Carlo, Tosca, and Abigaille at the National Opera of Ukraine; Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth at the Bavarian State Opera; Leonora in Il Trovatore at La Scala; Tosca in Rome and Barcelona; Abigaille at Deutsche Oper Berlin and in Hamburg; Leonora in La Forza del Destino at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Covent Garden; and Santuzza in concert with the NDR Radiophilharmonie.
Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova has performed with leading ensembles including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Yomiuri Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Netherlands Philharmonic. In 2018, Ms. Fedorova signed with Channel Classics Records and released six albums, including Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra and the duo album Silhouettes with violist Dana Zemtsov. In March, she and Interartists Amsterdam organized a charity concert with members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, cellist Maya Fridman, and percussionist Konstantyn Napolov, raising €111,000 in humanitarian aid for the victims of the war in Ukraine.
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