The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra offered a solidarity concert with its Russian conductor Daniel Raiskin and the Russian pianist Alexei Volodon, who both oppose the war initiated by the government of Russia. It took place in the famous Kölner Philharmonie, the famous symphonic concert hall in Cologne, Germany, beside Cologne Cathedral.
Sitting first row, Thomas Schirrmacher could see the tears in the eyes of the conductor, whose family is living in Ukraine, when distancing himself from the war. He wore a handkerchief with Ukrainian colors. Before conducting a first piece of the famous Ukrainian composer Vladimir Horowitz, the conductor asked all listeners to pray for peace in Eastern Europe.
Beside this the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra offered Brahms (Piano concert No. 2 B-flat Major op. 83) and van Beethoven (Symphony No. 7 in A-Major).
The concerto was accompanied by an appeal by the German Federal Minister of the Interior, not to discriminate Russians and Russian Speaking people living or working in Germany, especially as virtually all of them are opposed to the war enacted by Russia’s government. Thomas Schirrmacher also stated, that he receives many reports of Russian speaking citizens of European countries who are discriminated, even though they have nothing to do with the decisions of Russia’s President. Schirrmacher also remarked, that we receive and will receive a growing number of refugees from Russia, who are critical of the war – and thus flee their country – but often meet hostage outside Russia.
“As Christians we oppose discrimination of more than a hundred million people around the globe, because they happen to speak Russian or to be citizens of Russia”, Schirrmacher said.