An Orchestra Supports Ukraine, and Reunites a Couple Parted by War

WARSAW — After years of struggling to make a living as musicians in Ukraine, Yevgen Dovbysh and Anna Vikhrova felt they had finally built a stable life. They were husband-and-wife artists in the Odessa Philharmonic — he plays the cello, she the violin — sharing a love for Bach partitas and the music from “Star Wars.” They lived in an apartment on the banks of the Black Sea with their 8-year-old daughter, Daryna.

Then Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Vikhrova fled for the Czech Republic with her daughter and mother, bringing a few hundred dollars in savings, some clothes and her violin. Dovbysh, 39, who was not allowed to leave because he is of military age, stayed behind and assisted in efforts to defend the city, gathering sand from beaches to reinforce barriers and protect monuments and playing Ukrainian music on videos honoring the country’s soldiers.

“We spent every day together,” Vikhrova, 38, said. “We did everything together. And suddenly our beautiful…

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This article was written by Javier C. Hernández and originally published on