The war of attrition and fighting in Ukraine has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Many children and young people across the country are also at risk, which is why the Slovenian Youth Orchestra (SMO), led by Živa Ploj Peršuh, conductor of the SNG Opera and Ballet Orchestra and also artistic director of the SMO, immediately responded to the request for help from the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (YsOU), led by internationally renowned conductor Oksana Lyniv.
The Slovenian Youth Orchestra is cooperating with the competent authorities, the Municipality of Ljubljana and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as with YsOU as the Ukrainian partner, and is ready to assist and provide evacuation and humanitarian first aid, accommodation and further assistance in case of a longer stay.
In addition, the Slovenian Youth Orchestra and the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, together with the European Career Centre for Artists, will organise and implement various creative activities: daily music lessons, masterclasses, leadership workshops, an orchestra academy, a chamber orchestra academy and live-streamed concerts.
Alongside the action, integration is also important and indispensable, which is why together with YsOU we have created the Music for the future project, with the aim of empowering young Ukrainian musicians to overcome the trauma of war and to use their knowledge and love - MUSIC - to help stop the horrors, and at the same time to encourage all those who are fighting for peace to take up music again.
Statement by Oksana Lyniv, conductor of the Ukrainian Youth Symphony Orchestra:
"We are living in terrible times. Russia's aggression against my country is inhuman and unequivocally cruel. My greatest pain and suffering now belongs to my young musicians from the Youth Orchestra of Ukraine, as well as to all young musicians in the country. I want to do everything in my power to give all the young people of my country the hope of a normal life again. Let art now become a weapon and a medicine in this struggle. With this project, we want to encourage them not to give up music and to give them the opportunity to develop further in the European cultural space. The situation in Ukraine is rapidly evolving and changing by the hour. The Slovenian Youth Orchestra continues to provide assistance to young refugees affected by the conflict. Your donation will be of great help in organising and providing care."