In a new video that premiered yesterday on YouTube and Facebook, 146 cellists from around the world play the Ukrainian National Anthem in solidarity with Ukrainians suffering from the ongoing war.

With a pacifist spirit inspired by the bravery Ukrainians have shown amid adversity and the horrors of war, the project was organised by online platform the Cello Museum. The project takes inspiration from notable cellists throughout history who have also been strong advocates of peace, including the great cellist and peacemaker Pau Casals who said, ’The cello is my only weapon.’

Cellist Mstislav Rostropovich played Bach to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, while Yo-Yo Ma is a UN Messenger of Peace.

The Cello Museum team member Gill Tennant created an arrangement of the Ukrainian National Anthem that could be played by cellists across a wide range of skill levels, from beginner to professional. Over 225 cellists responded to take part in the project, with 146 represented in the video.

The performance is followed by an interview from cellist and volunteer aid worker Vladyslav Primakov from Kyiv, who wrote: ’Ukraine is my life!’

He commented, ’what we can do as cellists in society is to do charity concerts, performing Ukrainian music, Ukrainian culture, the Ukrainian National Anthem…I feel sorry that I cannot do concerts right now here, but I do really feel thankful for those musicians and cellists who understand that and will help their Ukrainian music family.

’It feels we are a huge family, and I thank you for that!’

The video calls for viewers to donate to the following charities:

Help People in Ukraine

Help Refugees: International Rescue Committee  

Core Response