Norwich Theatre Royal will play host to a very special performance from the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (NSOU) on 5 Nov. The Royal is the last stop on the orchestra’s 15-stop tour.
Recognised as one of the finest symphony orchestras in Europe, the NSOU was first formed in 1918. They have released more than one hundred critically acclaimed recordings, and the 2023 performances will be their biggest UK tour to date and the orchestra’s first major tour in more than 20 years.
When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 Feb 2022, the orchestra initially put any tour plans on hold. They bravely resumed rehearsals and performances in their usual location at the Lysenko Column Concert Hall in Kyiv.
Alexander Hornostai, NSOU managing director and producer, said: “Whilst this war has had a dramatic impact on Ukrainian lives, we took the decision early on that we had an important role to play in continuing to perform in order to protect and showcase Ukrainian musical culture and show that there is more to our country than just the conflict.”
The rich programme will feature specially selected pieces by Ukrainian composer Boris Lyatoshynsky (1895–1968), whose works the NSOU have premiered in the past. It will also include Sibelius’ Finlandia and Strauss’ Don Juan and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4.
Norwich Theatre is one of just 34 arts organisations across the UK to be awarded Theatre of Sanctuary status and is committed to being an open and safe space for all.
Stephen Crocker, Chief Executive and Creative Director at Norwich Theatre said: “As a Theatre of Sanctuary, we are honoured to be a part of this tour and support a bold and brave act of cultural expression and defiance against many odds. I have had the privilege to meet many Ukrainian guests who have come to Norfolk, and both our city and county have opened their arms wide to those seeking refuge. We hope that welcoming the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine to Norwich will not only celebrate the rich musical culture of Ukraine but our own culture of giving sanctuary here in the East of England as well.”
Last year, Norwich Theatre donated more than £38,000 from bucket collections and other fundraising efforts to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. After the performance, it will collect funds to support the NSOU and the continuation of Ukraine’s rich musical culture during the current conflict.
The theatre is working with partners to invite Ukrainian guests who have sought refuge in East Anglia alongside their host families who have provided shelter to the Sunday night performance. The performance will also mark the tenure of Michael Newey’s nine years as Chairman of Norwich Theatre.
National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine is on at Norwich Theatre Royal on 5 Nov for more information or to book please visit norwichtheatre.org or call the Box Office on 01603 630 000.