Music as resistance: Kyiv’s orchestra plays on

Music as resistance: Kyiv’s orchestra plays on

KYIV, Ukraine — The war with Russia broke up the orchestra. More than half of its musicians fled the capital. And with that, the music died.

The ensemble was part of the Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music, whose development was helped by the famed composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He often visited Kyiv in the 19th century when Ukraine was ruled by Russia’s czars. During World War II, the conservatory’s buildings were leveled.

In this conflict, the musicians who remained in Kyiv have endured shells and missiles landing close to their homes, nights hiding in underground bunkers, waiting in long lines to stock up on food and medicine. Many remain split apart from their relatives elsewhere in Ukraine, including some behind Russian lines.

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