On March 9th, the musicians of the Kiev Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Herman Makarenko (who was appointed by UNESCO as “the artist for peace” in 2016), performed the national anthems of Ukraine and Europe, as well as several popular Ukrainian musical works, in Kiev Independence Square.
According to the organizers, the concert was performed in support of the request of the Ukrainian people and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, to establish a no-fly zone over the country and thus help bring an end to the war.
This is not the only initiative of its kind that has occurred … indeed many such performances have taken place throughout the world. Music is a universal language that touches an individual’s deepest sentiments and feelings. It is moving to see artists come out to defend peace with their musical instruments and to do this in front of the powerful Russian army that systematically targets not only military objectives, but also the civilian and non-military targets.
The vast majority of the world is opposed to this senseless war that Putin has initiated. People are manifesting their opposition through their various talents. These musicians have put their talent at the service of peace, to give hope and encouragement to men and women who are suffering and pained.
Each of us can ask ourselves: What can I do? What should be done? Those are the quintessential Vincentian questions. In the face of injustice and the many needs of the poor, we all have something we can do and anything we can do both is necessary and important.
Let us not be accused of turning our backs and looking the other way!!