Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra organized a fundraiser for the musicians of the National Opera of Ukraine in Kyiv. Along with a significant donation from the Met Orchestra’s Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and donations from the Met’s music staff, the Met Orchestra raised $17,000 for the Ukrainian opera orchestra musicians.
The idea for this fundraising effort came about during rehearsals for the Concert for Ukraine, a March 14 benefit concert produced by the Metropolitan Opera and conducted by the Maestro Nézet-Séguin. At the coffee break following an emotional rehearsal of the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the “Ode to Joy,” it became clear that the musicians of the Met Orchestra were deeply inspired to produce a gesture of solidarity and support for their Kyiv counterparts.
With the help of a Met Orchestra associate clarinetist who grew up in Ukraine, contact was established with the Head of Personnel at the National Opera of Ukraine, which allowed the Met Musicians to send direct aid to their fellow opera orchestra musicians.
Acknowledging receipt of the wire-transferred funds, a National Opera representative made the following statement:
“The artists of the National Opera of Ukraine are deeply touched by the sense of fraternal solidarity exhibited by the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Your sincere moral and financial support in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine is eloquent confirmation that you, just like us, condemn the barbaric actions against Ukraine. We are equally confident that the unity of the masters of art will be an important component of our victory!”
It is the hope of the musicians of the Met Orchestra that this donation will inspire other orchestras and musical institutions around the world to take up this vital fundraising initiative themselves and collect donations to distribute to Ukrainian musicians, orchestras, and musical institutions.