The newly formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, made up of Ukrainian musicians – some from Ukraine’s major cities, some now displaced as refugees, and others who play in European orchestras – is a special late addition to this year’s Proms.
Under Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson the orchestra is a symbol of the remarkable resolve and determination shown by the people of Ukraine. They celebrate Ukraine’s leading living composer, Valentin Silvestrov, who escaped Kyiv with his daughter and granddaughter in March.
His deeply reflective Symphony No. 7 from 2003 complements Chopin’s ravishing Piano Concerto No. 2. And, after music from Beethoven’s great ‘rescue’ opera, Fidelio, Brahms’s final symphony offers moments of turbulence as well as defiant joy.