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Entry 254770

Everyone at the ISM is horrified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and are deeply concerned for the people of Ukraine who are under attack.

As a member of the ABO, the ISM supports its recent statement on the invasion.

The ISM has also sponsored a concert, proceeds from which have gone to humanitarian aid for Ukraine. Find out more by reading below.

ABO statement on invasion of Ukraine

The ISM is a member of the ABO and supports the following statement;

The ABO and its members are united in their condemnation of the Putin regime’s invasion of Ukraine and its violation of international law. We wish to express our support for the people of Ukraine in their struggle to maintain the independence of their nation, and for the many Russian artists and leaders of cultural institutions who have dared to express their concern at the aggressive actions taken by the Putin regime.

Many ABO members have already suspended or discontinued cooperation, both of an artistic and financial nature, with Russian institutions and individuals with known allegiance to the Kremlin, and we commend their decision and endorse this approach. We do not believe it is right for the Putin regime to use art and culture to legitimise its actions.

Members have also suspended or discontinued the engagement of Russian artists with a known and declared link to the Putin regime. Other Russian artists may wish to make a public declaration of their condemnation of the actions of the Russian government, and will be supported by our members in doing so. However, no Russian artist should be compelled to make such a public statement, when the consequence of doing so would be that the lives, liberty and livelihoods of themselves and members of their family in Russia are endangered. We will also look after those of our staff and musicians who are personally impacted by the invasion of Ukraine.

Works by Russian composers are intrinsic to the historical canon of Western classical music. We do not support a blanket boycott of these works, just as we do not boycott works created by composers who lived in other countries in other times that were also subject to international condemnation. As an example, British orchestras performed works by German composers throughout the First and Second World Wars. Our members will, however, take steps to place Russian compositions in their historical context, if relevant, and communicate this to their audience.

We accept that the consequences of the invasion of Ukraine, and sanctions on Russia, may last for many years, and will maintain these principles until such time as the UK Government advises our members that they can be lifted.

Concert in support of Ukraine

The ISM sponsored ‘A Celebration of Women in Music’, a concert organised by the Federation of International Women’s Associations in London (FIWAL) and the Ukrainian Cultural Association in the UK (UCA-UK), with proceeds and donations supporting humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Ukrainian pianist and composer Alla Sirenko, ISM member and President and Founder of the UCA-UK, wrote a blog about what the UCA-UK is doing to support Ukraine. Alla was also interviewed for Channel 4 News about organising the concert.