These days not only mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is also worth remembering that it was exactly 10 years ago that Russian special forces started to infiltrate the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. 

 When on 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in an escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that started in 2014, AEC  began to actively support its Ukrainian members. From that moment onwards, many AEC member institutions have taken in refugees and made it possible for them in an unbureaucratic manner, to continue their studies or work as teachers. In addition, funds were raised with the ‘AEC 4 Ukraine’ campaign, and  were used to purchase power banks for the AEC member institutions in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa.

After more than two years under constant artillery fire, little movement on the front line and the threat of diminishing military support from the free world, it is time to once again send a signal and let our Ukrainian colleagues know that they can continue to count on the support of AEC and its members. But this time we want to do this with the means that might be seen as the most obvious and appropriate for musicians: by encouraging the organisation of cultural events and music concerts in solidarity with Ukraine.

It is no coincidence that the initial idea to do so came from AEC colleagues in the Baltic States, who not only feel the burden of caring for refugees most keenly but also the threat of an aggressive neighbouring state.

On 20th February, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in Vilnius organised a concert in commemoration of a decade of the war featuring music by Lithuanian and Ukrainian composers performed by professors and students from Vilnius and soloists from Ukraine. ‘Art brings freedom’ said the rector of the LAMT, Judita Žukienė, in her welcoming address to this moving and impressive concert, which was also streamed live and can still be viewed here


On the same day, the 10th anniversary of the Maidan uprising in Kyiv, a concert was also held at the Conservatorio Superior de Vigo with professors from Kyiv and Kharkiv and students from the Conservatorio, some of whom come from Ukraine, as Vigo has been particularly committed to supporting Ukrainian students from the outset.

These two exemplary initiatives from Vilnius and Vigo have prompted us to encourage other AEC members to organise events in support of Ukraine in the coming months.  We as AEC can help to reinforce these expressions of solidarity by disseminating and promoting them under the slogan ‘AEC for Ukraine’.

The support will in many cases be moral and mental, but there are also charity projects planned, such as an orchestra concert on 6 April which will bring together members of the Ukrainian Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Sibelius Academy Orchestra in Helsinki.

We would be delighted if more AEC members would join this initiative and thus make this idea even more powerful.

Please do not hesitate to send news about your concerts and initiatives to AEC’s Communication Coordinator  Alessandra Callegari at