As Artistic Director of Warsaw Philharmonic and at the same time a person for whom the events of the last three days have been, owing to my origins, a deep personal tragedy, I have felt the need to make this statement. My family roots are in Volhynia, so the tragedy of that land is also my own.
There are times when one needs to take a decisive stance and say words which will be both emphatic and unequivocal. Human life is the greatest value to me, and I therefore firmly condemn every war, including the one declared three days ago by the Russian government on Ukraine. I am deeply moved by the tragedy of our Neighbours. I have close friends and acquaintances in Ukraine, who have now found themselves in great peril. I pray for them and for all the Citizens of Ukraine.
I believe it is the mission of every artist to express oneself through one’s art. It was therefore my first spontaneous and concrete reaction to decide to open my concert in Milan on 25 February 2022 with Ukraine’s national anthem. I did this last Friday and will do the same today at the repeat concert as well as when I conduct in the Czech Republic next week and in Warsaw during my coming concerts.
In this extremely difficult time, when shooting and explosions can be heard again in the heart of Europe, we have decided to dedicate to Ukraine and its Citizens the Friday and Saturday concerts of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir under the baton of Agnieszka Duczmal.
War kills. There can be no justification for war.
War should be stopped immediately.
Director of Warsaw Philharmonic
Milan in February 2022, on the fourth day of war in Ukraine