Ukrainian orchestra shows Kansans what freedom sounds like

On Monday night at the Lied Center in Lawrence, freedom sounded like a symphony orchestra.



March 2, 2023 - 5:46 PM

The Lviv National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine stands as the audience applauds at the Lied Center in Lawrence. Members held aloft a Ukrainian flag and a flag combining the flags of the United States and Ukraine. (Clay Wirestone/Kansas Reflector)

The Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, led by the redoubtable Theodore Kuchar, played one of the last concerts of a 40-date tour across the United States. The century-old ensemble had stopped by Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall along the way, but I’m Kansan enough to believe the Lawrence stop brought something special.

This was a free city in the free state, after all, one where locals bled to stop slavery in its tracks. The Ukrainian people fight for the same principle now. And while the cause may have become controversial for Fox News pundits who parrot Russian propaganda, the nearly 2,000 people in the audience cheered the cause.

“Slava Ukraini!,” one called out at the beginning. Glory to Ukraine.

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