A Statement from the VSO

A Statement from the VSO
Published on March 2, 2022

“Art never stopped a war and never got anybody a job. That was never its function. Art cannot change events. BUT it can change people…. It can affect people so that they are changed… because people are changed by art – enriched, ennobled, encouraged – they then act in a way that may affect the course of events… by the way they vote, they behave, the way they think.”  –  Leonard Bernstein

The VSO is an arts organization. We bring the beauty of music from the stage to our audience in Vancouver and the rest of the world, with the goal to move and inspire. Our mission is to create, curate and connect irresistible musical experiences and we remain committed to this purpose, especially during difficult times.

Right now, there is a terrible situation in Ukraine; we cannot turn away from this. We condemn Russia’s invasion, and the suffering it is inflicting on the Ukrainian people. Many parties are affected by these acts of violence, and our thoughts are with all the victims. We are particularly saddened to hear the opera house in Kharkiv has been hit by Russian artillery fire and we express our solidarity with our musical friends across Ukraine.

As has been planned for many months, this season and next we will play masterworks by Russian composers, many of whom purposefully used the power of music for cultural change. We will also welcome several Russian guest artists to share the stage with the VSO. They are invited as our distinguished musical guests, not as political representatives. We stand united with them and a global community of music makers in rejecting violence and aggression.

Last week, our February 25th and 26th VSO performances were dedicated to the citizens of Ukraine. The audience response was thunderous applause. We recognize that musicians and artists around the world as well as Vancouverites from every walk of life are deeply troubled by the attacks on Ukraine. To that end, the VSO is working with our friends in the Ukrainian community in Vancouver and across Canada, exploring ways of together supporting the people of Ukraine and their struggle for freedom and democracy, in their hour of need. Further details will be available soon.