The Kyiv-Classic Symphony Orchestra performed a small concert in Ukraine’s Maidan Square Wednesday (March 9th), an act Conductor Herman Makarenko described as a call for peace amid the Russian invasion.
The orchestra performed the Ukrainian national anthem as well as an excerpt from Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” on which the European Union’s anthem is based — both strong displays of Ukrainian sovereignty and a desire to move closer to Western Europe as Russian forces advanced on the country.
“We would like to support our president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who called, calls and will call to all governments of the world (to) stop the war in Ukraine,” Makarenko said (per Reuters). While up to 70 musicians normally perform in the orchestra, Makarenko said he was only able to gather about 20 people for the peace concert as civilians flee Kyiv for the relative safety of western Ukraine. Watch the Kyiv-Classic Symphony Orchestra perform below.
Political figures and entertainers alike have come together in support of Ukraine as Russian troops advance on the country. Ukrainian actor Pasha Lee died in service while protecting his country, while a video of a young Ukrainian girl named Amelia singing “Let It Go” from inside a bomb shelter went viral as an anthem against adversity. On the Western front, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher pledged a $3 million donation to refugees in Kunis’ native Ukraine, while Netflix ceased operations in Russia amid the war.