In an “artistic defence” of their country, a newly-formed orchestra is set to tour Europe and the U.S. with proceeds going to the benefit of Ukrainians. 

Made up of refugees and Ukrainian members of European orchestras, the “Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra” will tour Europe and America from July 28 through August 20, including stops in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, before performances in New York and Washington, DC. 

Organized by the Metropolitan Opera and Polish National Opera, the orchestra — which includes musicians from Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv and Odesa — will be directed by Winnipeg-born, Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson. 

A member of the musically accomplished Wilson family clan — whose musical matriarch is the beloved centenarian Thelma Wilson — Keri-Lynn Wilson was born in Winnipeg, studied piano, violin and flute, and performed with the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra, before attending Juilliard, receiving both her Undergraduate Degree and two Masters (Flute Performance and Conducting).

Programs will include the Seventh Symphony of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, as well as Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with Ukrainian virtuoso Anna Fedorova at the keyboard and either Brahms’ Fourth Symphony or Dvorák’s Ninth Symphony. Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska will also perform “Abscheulicher! (You monster!)” from Beethoven’s “Fidelio.”