The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra ended a tour of European and American cities with a concert in Washington, D.C. on August 20. That concert will be broadcast by PBS on September 9.

The U.S. State Department sent a representative to address the audience at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. After speaking at the concert, Assistant Secretary of State Lee Satterfield tweeted, "Music is a way to tell the world just who we are – tonight, we celebrated what it means to be Ukrainian & free."

She posted photos of herself with Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova and others.

"The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra includes recent refugees, Ukrainian members of European orchestras, and some of the top musicians of Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and elsewhere in Ukraine," the department said in a statement released before the concert. It said PBS was filming the concert and would broadcast it on September 9 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

In the course of the orchestra's tour of Europe and America, it had performed in 12 cities "including London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, and Berlin," the department said. The entire statement can be found at the U.S. State Department website.

'Their music is their power'

The orchestra gave outdoor concerts at the Lincoln Center in New York City on August 18-19.

The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield attended the August 18 concert. "Their music is their power. And they are spreading a simple message: the people of Ukraine will not be silenced and will not back down," she tweeted.

'An embodiment of a cultured nation'

Reviewing the August 18 performance for The New York Times, Zachary Woolfe noted that the War in Ukraine was, in part, a cultural war in which Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to negate Ukraine's separate cultural identity.

Woolfe said that despite bold displays of Ukrainian patriotism, the concert had avoided jingoism. "For all its moments of high drama, the program was admirably even-keeled and soft-spoken, an embodiment of a cultured nation," he wrote.

During the concert, the orchestra had performed Brahm’s Fourth Symphony, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov’s Symphony No. 7, an aria from Beethoven’s “Fidelio” and an “impressionistic and elegant” arrangement of the Ukrainian national anthem, Woolfe recalled.

'An appeal to stop Russian aggression'

Before the New York concerts, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.N. Sergiy Kyslytsya had accompanied the orchestra on a visit to the United Nations General Assembly.

The diplomat tweeted that the concerts would be "an appeal to stop the Russian aggression and for de-occupation of Ukraine."

The idea for the 75-member orchestra had come from Keri-Lynn Wilson, the group’s Canadian-Ukrainian conductor, NPR reported. The orchestra had been put together with help from the Metropolitan Opera and the Polish National Orchestra, the public broadcaster noted.

Allowing young men of military age to travel outside the country was one way the Ukrainian government had supported the orchestra, NPR said.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts website noted that the concert was scheduled to be broadcast by PBS on September 9 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, but people were advised to check the schedule of their local PBS station.

On August 19, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the U.S. was giving Ukraine an additional $775 million in military support. "This package brings total U.S. security assistance committed to Ukraine to approximately $10.6 billion since the beginning of this Administration," he said.

"The courage and strength of Ukraine’s military and its people are extraordinary, and the United States will continue to provide additional systems and capabilities for Ukraine," Blinken added. The entire announcement can be found at the State Department website.