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Arts & Life

Rochester Philharmonic will play a benefit for Ukraine this Saturday at the Eastman Theatre

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Tyler Cervini
Music Director Andreas Delfs leads the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in a dress rehearsal for the Feb. 24 and 26 concerts featuring Beethoven symphonies.

A benefit concert to help provide humanitarian aid to people in Ukraine will be presented by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra this coming weekend.

The concert to be held in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Saturday night is designed to raise money that will go toward critical medical supplies and humanitarian aid. The proceeds will be collected through ROC Maidan, a non-profit that is part of the Ukrainian Cultural Center of Rochester.

Andreas Delfs, the RPO Music Director, will lead this program that will feature music by Ukrainian composers.

“The music that we play will be new for us musicians, many of the pieces will be new,” said Delfs. “But still, we understand the language that this music speaks, the language of compassion, the language of brotherhood, the language of support.“

Collections continue at several sites around the Rochester area to help people impacted by the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

An Eastman School of Music Professor of Violin, Oleh Krysa, who is a Ukrainian-American, will be playing with the RPO on Saturday.

Delfs said it means a lot to Krysa and others in Rochester’s large Ukrainian-American population to see this kind of support.

“It’s a very close knit community, and it makes, of course, a huge difference that there’s so many Ukrainians who live in Rochester, and they are all watching with great trepidation, what’s happening in their homeland,” Delfs said.

Rochester’s Ukrainian Federal Credit Union CEO Oleg Lebedko said that, “With each passing day, innocent civilians of Ukraine, mothers, fathers and children, are losing their lives as a result of the invasion by Russia.” Lebedko said the Rochester area has seen “an overwhelmingly positive and heartfelt response” from the community with donations pouring in for Ukraine.

The concert by the RPO is this Saturday night, starting at 7:30, at the Eastman Theater. Tickets are available online at rpo.org, by phone at 585-454-2100, and in-person, one hour prior to the concert at the Eastman Theatre Box Office, 433 East Main St.

There is a suggested donation of $20 or more, but Delfs encourages everyone to come to the event, whatever they can afford, just to show their support.

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