Kyiv Symphony begins European tour with musicians evacuated from Ukraine

Posted on: April 22, 2022

“Ahead of their first concert since the start of Russia’s invasion, members of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra voice hope that their music will help heal troubled souls and boost Ukrainian culture,” reads an unsigned article in Thursday’s (4/21) Agence France-Presse. “Some of the orchestra’s musicians … have been playing only to their families or in bomb shelters. The concert at the Warsaw Philharmonic on Thursday will start a European tour for the orchestra…. The men in the orchestra have been granted special dispensation from Ukrainian authorities to leave the country as martial law is in place in Ukraine and fighting-age men are not normally allowed to leave. The exemption only lasts until the end of the tour and its Italian conductor Luigi Gaggero said he hoped other venues will come forward to offer to host the orchestra ‘maybe until the end of the war.’ … Several of the musicians are travelling with their whole families and loved ones left behind.… The rehearsals are accompanied by therapy sessions…. Speaking at the Warsaw Philharmonic, where the walls are decorated with stark images of the ruins of post-war Warsaw, [violinist Elizaveta] Zaitseva said she hoped that the music she plays could ‘access people’s souls.’ ”