Berlin Phil dedicates concerts to Ukraine victims

Berlin Phil dedicates concerts to Ukraine victims


norman lebrecht

February 25, 2022

Message received:

Statement by the Berliner Philharmoniker and their chief conductor Kirill Petrenko on
the Russian invasion of Ukraine
The Berliner Philharmoniker, the Rundfunkchor Berlin, Gustavo Dudamel and the soloists Nadine Sierra and
Okka von der Damerau will dedicate their concerts this week with Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony to those
affected by the Russian attacks on Ukraine.
“We are deeply shocked by the attacks from the Russian side, which have triggered a war on European soil and
are targeted directly against a life in freedom and democracy. Our solidarity is with all the people of Ukraine and
the victims of this violent conflict.”
(Andrea Zietzschmann, Knut Weber and Stanley Dodds for the Board of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation)
“Putin’s insidious attack on Ukraine, which violates international law, is a knife in the back of the entire peaceful
world. It is also an attack on the arts, which, as we know, unite across all borders. I am in complete solidarity
with all my Ukrainian colleagues and can only hope that all artists will stand together for freedom, sovereignty
and against aggression.”
(Kirill Petrenko, chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker)


  • V.Lind says:

    Hardly surprising — Petrenko is Ukrainian (even if born in Omsk). But a fine gesture by the Orchestra and all its artists nonetheless.

  • Harpist says:

    See Vienna Philharmonic. That’s how it is done.
    Not “That is all we have to say to that”

  • John kelly says:

    I’m still waiting for a statement from Gergiev. Petrenko is the man.

  • Bloom says:

    In the back of the entire civilized world. All the brutes crawl back to the cave!

  • MacroV says:

    Good for the BPO and Petrenko, who I never figured to be a Putinist and glad to see that’s true. That’s a way forward for Gergiev.

  • Bone says:

    They would certainly know something about invasions on European soil.

  • Del Boy says:

    They’re not having much luck with their choice of May Day concert venues are they?

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Do me a favour. All these people talking big but hoping nothing happens to affect their everyday lives.

  • Barry Guerrero says:


  • Lila says:

    “(I) can only hope that all artists will stand together for freedom, sovereignty and against aggression.” – Is that a dig at Gergiev and the like? If so, I love it.

    More generally, it will be interesting to see what they will do when Easter in Baden-Baden comes around (Netrebko scheduled to sing there and it doesn’t seem like she will distance herself from Putin) and for their European concert on May 1. It was supposed to take place in Odessa, which seems extremely unlikely now.

  • John Borstlap says:


  • Hound says:

    Ex Nazi Orchestra supporting Nazi Ukraine of today. Good one!

    • Me says:

      Well, if it is the ex nazi orchestra, it means the musicians in this orchestra are at least 100 years old….

      • Nydo says:

        There are hardly any members of the orchestra left that were there when the last had a German director on the late 80’s.

    • Nydo says:

      “Nazi Ukraine”. That is a very good example of the big lie.

    • Amos says:

      Who thought we’d see the day when a “nazi” Ukraine was led by a democratically elected Jewish President. Putin sends his thanks for the comical disinformation. By the by you forgot to mention that the apartment building in Kiev wasn’t struck by Putin missiles and remember use of the term invasion is forbidden.

    • V.Lind says:

      Neo-fascism is certainly a danger in Ukraine, and has been for some time. Remains to be seen whether Zelensky, who is Jewish, and not a career politician, will be strong enough to hold them off. Right-wing militias have a lot of strength and have worked very hard at infiltrating the Ukraine military.

      But this is Ukraine’s fight and even if some of Putin’s fears of a fascist neighbour have some legitimacy, it is still Ukraine’s problem. Russia — and the US, which pours billions into Ukraine, regardless of the politics it supports (or perhaps because of them) — should BUTT OUT. Ukraine has no designs on Russia.

      Superpower paranoia is behind all this. American braggadocio over their “New World Order” struck a nasty note at the time. But they “won” — time for them to stop with the communist bogeyman rubbish. Russia, and Putin, are about as communist as the Tea Party.

      And Russia does not need to see fascists under every bed. Nor do they need to fear NATO — if they knew anything about it they would know it is a quivering mass of do-nothing policies who will not be the initiators of any action against others. (Certain elements of Ukraine might work to change that and NATO, and the EU, ought to be damned careful before admitting them to their ranks — other Eastern European countries have completely ignored the tolerance and support of immigrants and asylum-seekers directed by the EU).

      Russia should also take a look at its own history — its recent invasions have not been all that successful (apparently it cannot see farther back than 2014).

      Pity they never really tried democracy. Nothing will change in Russia while Putin is there. But that is their problem, as the internal politics of Ukraine are theirs, as long as they stay there.

    • Minnesota says:

      The heroic President Zelensky of Ukraine is Jewish, you troll.