In London, 200 classical musicians perform Ukrainian national anthem, “Prayer for Ukraine”

Posted on: March 8, 2022

Violinists perform in the Music for Peace concert honoring Ukraine in Trafalgar Square. Photo: Jill Mead/Guardian

“A flashmob of 200 classical musicians led by a renowned Russian-British conductor played a trio of Ukrainian compositions in Trafalgar Square on Sunday to protest against the Russian invasion,” writes Jenn Selby in Sunday’s (3/6) Guardian (U.K.). “Petr Limonov directed the orchestra—which starred the violinist Jennifer Pike and the composer Gabriel Prokofiev on the French horn—in front of hundreds of spectators who had gathered around the makeshift stage at the foot of the National Gallery in central London…. ‘This isn’t about Russians, it is to show support to Ukraine,’ [Limonov said].… Music for Peace [was] organized by the classical music fan Juliet Barclay, 63, in just five days…. The group of volunteers crowdfunded to buy the rights to perform ‘Hymn 2001’ by the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, who is believed to be in Kyiv as it remains under attack. They also performed the Ukrainian national anthem and Mykola Lysenko’s Prayer for Ukraine, which was originally a choral piece and was accompanied by singing by members of the crowd…. ‘We had people with disabilities, people with other barriers to taking part come down, helping each other in different ways. It’s been incredibly moving,’ Barclay said.”