Flame Conductor Kenichiro Kobayashi’s Thoughts in the Night Sky: “Ukraine Will Not Perish | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Flame Conductor Kenichiro Kobayashi’s Thoughts in the Night Sky: “Ukraine Will Not Perish

A Prayer for Hope and Peace Embodied in the National Anthem of Ukraine

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Flame conductor Kenichiro Kobayashi organized this outdoor concert to “support the people of Ukraine. The Ukrainian national anthem echoed powerfully in the evening sky.

March 11, 5:30 p.m., Friday. A powerful solo female voice echoed through Ikebukuro’s plaza at dusk. It was the Ukrainian national anthem, sung by Ukrainian singer Oksana Stepanyuk.

Ukraine will not perish. Nor its glory, nor its freedom!

Fate will smile upon us again, my Ukrainian brethren.”

More than 1,000 people are gazing at the stage at the open-air theater in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space in Ikebukuro West Exit Park. Conductor Kenichiro Kobayashi had hastily planned the “Ukraine Support Concert” for the evening.

I feel it’s absurd that so many people are suffering because of one person’s fault,” said Kenichiro Kobayashi. I planned this concert in the hope that I could use special, heartfelt music to bring comfort to the people of Ukraine, who are suffering so much pain and sadness.

Mr. Kovaken, the world-renowned conductor “Maestro of Fire,” who has performed extensively in Europe, began his talk quietly.

We will perform Sibelius’ symphonic poem “Finlandia,” which is about the suffering of the peasants under the oppressive rule of Imperial Russia, the people of Finland who are rising up, and how happiness will surely come to them. It is a song of hope played by a variety of instruments.”

The “Kobaken and Friends Orchestra” is performing in this concert. This is indeed a group of “friends” consisting of members who also gathered to support the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

We launched this project four or five days ago. We called out to everyone and asked those who were able to come to gather together on short notice. Some of you raised your hands for the first time. My doctor is also participating. We didn’t practice at all. We just met and rehearsed for the first time.

Following “The National Anthem of Ukraine,” “Finlandia” with male chorus, and “Danny Boy,” an Irish folk song, were performed by the “friends” under the direction of Kobaken.

Today is Mar. 11 day of the month. I am from Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. This song, ‘Danny Boy,’ is also a message of remembrance for those who died in Tohoku.

By this time the sun was setting and the crowd had grown even larger. Although I could not see the stage from the benches at the back of the plaza, there were elderly people sitting and listening to the performance. Satoshi Asaoka, the MC, introduced the music and spoke a message of peace.

The final piece was Ravel’s “Bolero. The piece began quietly with a solo by a small drum and flute, and then more and more instruments were added as the same phrase was repeated, creating a magnificent layer of sound. The music was a prayer for peace, each person’s thoughts and feelings coming together to form a great swell.

I want to tell everyone in Ukraine to have courage. The world is watching over the citizens who are victims of politics and power. I want to support the people of Ukraine by connecting with music, the common language of the world. Happiness will surely come, I believe so” (Mr. Kobaken)

On the day of the event, there was a donation box at the venue. Kobayashi, who will travel to Hungary, Ukraine’s neighbor, next month, will personally deliver the collected donations to the support department for refugees who have fled to Hungary. In Japan and around the world, the wish for support for Ukraine and an end to the war is growing day by day.

‘Our persistence and sincere efforts have paid off. Songs of freedom echo throughout Ukraine

May happiness return to this Ukraine.”

The national anthem of Ukraine is sung thus.

Between rehearsal and performance, Mr. Kobaken responded to FRIDAY Digital’s interview. His kind words were so passionate and persuasive that one could not help but believe in the power of music.
The rehearsal was held only once on the afternoon of the day of the event. Sixty musicians gathered for this performance.
A warm evening with a hint of spring, people praying for peace for the people of Ukraine and an end to the war, as they mourn the loss of the people of Ukraine in 311.

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