DONETSK, Eastern Ukraine, November 7 /TASS/. The Donetsk Academic Symphony Orchestra named after Sergei Prokofiev continues giving concerts despite the fact that many of its musicians fled the city when hostilities broke out in eastern Ukraine in spring this year, the orchestra’s chief conductor said on Friday.
“Our life is hard: we used to have 87 musicians prior to the war. Now, only 65% of musicians are attending rehearsals regularly. The rest have not retired but have left Donetsk to save the lives of their children and relatives,” conductor Alexander Dolinsky, the Merited Artist of Ukraine, told journalists.
“Luckily, all our musicians are alive. We have not received salaries since August but we keep working. Tomorrow, we are going to give a concert /Songs Remain with People/ in the building of the local philharmonic society,” Dolinsky said adding the absence of the necessary number of musicians and the general situation in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic /DPR/ had forced the orchestra to change its repertoire.
“We are an academic orchestra of classical music. In fact, we should and we can play the most complicated classical music pieces written by any composer. But today we have switched over to playing more popular tunes and music pieces so that people who come to our concerts could recognize them and feel that they are musically educated,” Dolinsky went on to say.
According to him, the majority of musicians in the orchestra believe that the DPR has a future. “I have been to the referendum and the recent elections. The Donetsk airport is certainly the most painful issue for me. I was one of those who suggesting naming it after Sergei Prokofiev. I hope it’s going to be rebuilt one day,” Dolinsky said.