We would like children’s voices and music to speak louder than cannons – Roman Shpek


Kyiv, October 20, 2015. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in Ukraine, the National Opera of Ukraine, Kyiv Classic symphonic orchestra, as well as private and state companies have united their efforts to hold the “Music for Peace” concert. The concert will see the ideas of peace and unity reflected in inspiring and emotional Ukrainian music, dancing and singing. Over 250 musicians and bands from all over Ukraine will take part in the concert on October 21, 2015. “Music is a universal language that does not require translation, is understandable to a person of any age, from any country, of any nationality or religious beliefs,” said Herman Makarenko, conductor of the National Taras Shevchenko Opera of Ukraine, chief conductor and artistic director of the Kyiv Classic orchestra, People’s Artist and Ambassador of Ukrainian culture, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
The project is being implemented thanks to the UN’s effective partnership with state institutions, private sector and civil society organizations. Alfa Bank Ukraine financially sponsored the project. “We would like children’s voices and music to speak louder than cannons”, said Roman Shpek, Ukraine’s Minister of Economy (1993-1995), Head of Ukraine’s Permanent Mission to the European Union (2000-2008), Senior Advisor to the President and to the Head of the Board of Directors of Alpha Bank Ukraine. “It is a privilege and big honour for us to join the project organized by the UN in Ukraine alongside other business representatives. Such cooperation of diplomatic, state, artistic and private institutions will demonstrate to participants and guests of the event that Ukraine is united.”
The idea for such a celebration first appeared 10 years ago on the 60th UN anniversary. At that time music from North and South America, Australia, Africa, Asia and Europe was played. Most of the pieces were performed for the first time. “This year I came up with an initiative to show the culture not from various parts of the world but from various parts of Ukraine. It would be interesting to demonstrate the culture coming from various areas of Ukraine: the south, north, west, east and the center symbolizing a unified and unbreakable state,” noted Makarenko. “We have decided that most of the participants will be children as a symbol of peace and bright future not only in Ukraine but around the globe. It is topical for the UN as we know that a lot of ‘hot spots’ exist in the world.” Makarenko noted that each region will have two pieces performed, the central theme of the program will be pieces that traditionally represent Ukraine on the international scene – overture to the “Taras Bulba” opera, Shchedryk and Andriy’s song from the “Zaporozhets beyond the Danube” opera.
Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine emphasized that Ukraine was one of the first 51 countries that signed the UN Charter and from that point on has been fruitfully cooperating with the UN, strictly complying with the UN Charter and supporting international peace and security, disarmament, economic and social development, human rights protection and reinforcement of international law. “What the UN means to me, I actually see it best reflected in the culture that we see here – in music and solidarity. I’ve been extraordinarily impressed in the year that I’m here with the solidarity that Ukrainians show to all of those who have been displaced and affected by the conflict in the east. […] It is not easy to imagine a better way for us to express the values of peace than through such an artistic event that we’re organizing around the 70 years anniversary of the United Nations [….] It is a unique opportunity to allow Ukrainians to see a vision of peace as reflected through the eyes of the children, as reflected through the artistic talent of the people in this country.” Neal Walker noted that in this hard time the UN’s goal in Ukraine is to support national efforts building up a peaceful, prosperous, strong and united Ukraine.
The “Music for Peace” concert will be broadcast all across Ukraine. Live broadcast of the concert will be available on the YouTube page of the First National TV Channel on October 21 starting from 19:00: http://bit.ly/1hPdBH6. The First National TV Channel will broadcast the concert on TV on UN Day on October 24 at 13:00.