Barcelona hosts ‘Concert for Peace’ in aid of Ukraine
Jordi Savall, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and host of classical stars perform specially curated program at L'Auditori
Catalonia’s classical music community - plus international guests - came together in Barcelona’s L'Auditori on Wednesday night to perform a ‘Concert for Peace’, in aid of Ukraine.
Described by organizers as “motivated by the Putin invasion” and featuring musicians and permanent ensembles from various institutions, such as the Franz Schubert Filharmonic or the Liceu Conservatory, performing under the banner of the Orchestra and Choir for Peace, the concert raised money for the International Red Cross ‘Ukraine Needs You’ project. There were also Ukrainian refugees as well as Russian musicians among the performers.
A host of conductors led the ensemble throughout the night, in a specially curated program that featured moments of reflection and defiance, including Ukrainian, Russian and Catalan works.
The evening began with Valentin Silvestrov’s Prayer for Ukraine, followed by Modest Mussorgsky’s The Great Gate of Kyiv and Barber’s Adagio for Strings, famous for its use in the film Platoon, set during the Vietnam War.
Mireia Barrera conducted a version of the traditional Catalan song The Nightingale (‘El rossinyol’) before celebrated Catalan musician Jordi Savall and La Capella Reial de Catalunya performed three settings of Da pacem Domine.
American mezzo-soprano and Grammy Award winner Joyce DiDonato sang Richard Strauss’s Morgen, before the ensemble performed Elgar’s Nimrod from the Enigma Variations and the finale of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, notably featuring Russian soprano Katerina Tetryakova and Belorussian mezzo-soprano Marina Pinchuk.
The concert ended with Madrigal on a Popular Theme ‘El Cant Dels Ocells’, a favorite tune of Catalan cellist Pau Casals, and featured the famous boys’ choir, the Escolania de Montserrat, alongside cellist Miquel Keenan Fuentes and conductor Antoni Ros Marbà.
The concert organizers described the night as “a call for peace and condemnation of all wars, upholding peace at all times with music as a universal means of promoting cohesion, understanding, and harmonious relations among nations.”
Helena Mora, the president of the Victoria de los Ángeles Foundation which helped get the event together, described music as “a tool for social cohesion.” As for the Ukrainian refugees and Russian musicians who performed, she said they “needed peace and human warmth from the audience.”
Those who were unable to attend Wednesday night's event can still donate to the International Red Cross' Ukraine efforts by clicking on a link on the L'Auditori website.