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Home » Orchestra News » Orchestras and Musicians Stand with Ukraine

Orchestras and Musicians Stand with Ukraine


Within days of the first the Russian attack on Ukraine in February, support for the Ukrainian people fighting for their freedom began to ring out in performing arts venues worldwide. From the Ukrainian national anthem performed by the Metropolitan Opera and Orchestra while the opera house was lit up in blue and yellow, to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recording and releasing a video performance of “Prayer for Ukraine,” musicians at countless AFM orchestras are using their art form to raise awareness and promote solidarity.

At some organizations, like the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), concerts are being used to raise funds to provide direct aid to Ukraine. With a performance of music by Ukrainian composers for an audience that gave pay-what-you-can donations, the RPO raised nearly $60,000 for ROC Maidan—a nonprofit organization that is part of the Ukrainian Cultural Center of Rochester, providing humanitarian aid, medical supplies, and more.

A statement by RPO musicians—members of Local 66 (Rochester, NY)—echoes the sentiments of fellow musicians around the globe who have expressed support through the performances on their stages: “We stand in solidarity with the brave people of Ukraine during this unprovoked and brutal invasion of their democratic nation. The world of classical music has long benefited from the great musicians and musical heritage of this region. Music provides a powerful and universal expression of hope, and in that spirit, we are honored and humbled to give our support to Ukrainians all over the world by performing this concert.”

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra was joined by other musicians and singers in a benefit concert for Ukraine in Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre on March 12. Photo: Tyler Cervini.
The facade of the Metropolitan Opera House was illuminated in the colors of the Ukrainian flag for “A Concert for Ukraine” on March 14, 2022. Photo: Jonathan Tichler / Met Opera.

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