If there was no war, Ukrainians in the country’s second largest city, Kharkiv, reportedly enjoyed the annual Kharkiv Music Festival in a bigger venue. Despite shelling and explosions, classical music reverberated through the city as musicians kicked off Kharkiv Music Fest 2022 at Istorychnyi Myzei subway stationnow in use as a bomb shelter, March 26.
Organizers said that with the ‘concert between the explosions’, the musicians made a symbolic opening of the classical music festival, which is held every year while famous Ukrainian and international artists perform, and left people moved .
Twitter user Johannes Gutenberg shared a clip from the concert. “Today marks the opening day of the #Kharkiv Music Festival and the people of Ukraine’s 2nd city weren’t going to let the Russian bombs stop them,” Gutenberg tweeted.
In the video, people are seen listening to music inside the subway station. The musicians are seen playing instruments on the steps and people can be heard clapping towards the end of the video. Maria, a resident of Kharkiv, is heard saying in English subtitles: “Events like this are a ray of light that helps us to trust in positivity and be sure that everything will be fine.”
See the video:
Today marks the opening of the #Kharkiv Music Festival and the people of Ukraine’s 2nd city weren’t going to let the Russian bombs stop them.
— Johannes Gutenberg (@Joha__Gutenberg) March 27, 2022
“It was an idea, how I can be useful to my people, my country and my hometown, Kharkiv,” cellist Denys Karachevtsev said in the video. “Because I am a citizen of Kharkiv and I really love this city and these people,” he says.
The music festival opened in #Kharkiv (under the bombs): first they played in the subway, then in a bomb shelter
Video of the opening of the KharkivMusicFest festival – which did not take place in the large philharmonic hall, as planned, but in the metro station of the Historical Museum. pic.twitter.com/4I2a1Hb0ah
— Oriannalyla 🇺🇦 (@Lyla_lilas) March 26, 2022
“The music festival opened in #Kharkiv (under bombs): first they played in the metro, then in a bomb shelter. Video of the opening of the KharkivMusicFest festival – which did not take place in the large philharmonic hall, as planned, but in the metro station of the historical museum,” another user wrote.
Kharkiv Music Fest – one of the best international classical music festivals in Ukraine was scheduled to start on March 26. No one could have imagined that instead there would be a concert in the metro. But here we are at day 31 of the war. pic.twitter.com/1uyzHhGeId
— Maria Avdeeva (@maria_avdv) March 26, 2022
Ukrainian folk songs written especially for this concert by the young composer and conductor from Kharkiv Vladimir Bogatyryov were also performed. All five strings played classic masterpieces by Bach, Schubert, Dvorak and Skoryk. The musicians included Olga Pishchita, Stanislav Kucherenko, Tatiana Zhuk, Denis Karachevtsev and Sergiy Dikarev.