KYIV and BRUSSELS, SEPTEMBER 5, 2022 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, was awarded Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Ukraine Peace Prize in recognition of its support for humanitarian relief efforts in the region and music’s historic role in fostering peace.
The award was presented by the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, ms Olha Stefanishyna to UMG’s Chairman & CEO of Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon Frank Briegmann at a special ceremony held at Universal Music Belgium’s headquarters in Brussels.
Deputy Prime Minister Stefanishyna said, “Ukraine is grateful to Universal Music for its ongoing support. The company was one of the first to support Ukraine and join the sanctions against Russia. UMG is the first music company in the world to receive such an award. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Universal Music has proven that they are true friends of Ukraine and entertainment/culture sphere shouldn’t stand aside the war.”
Accepting the award, Briegmann said, “Throughout history, music has served as a beacon of inspiration and hope and healing – and helping to bring peace to those affected by violence. The Russian military invasion in Ukraine affects millions with urgent humanitarian needs – from food and water to shelter and clothing. Universal Music and our employees and artists are proud to support groups that are on the ground providing life-saving, humanitarian assistance to those most vulnerable.”
Universal Music, including through its global company, local companies, employees and artists – has provided financial support to a wide range of organizations providing humanitarian relief to alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people, including:
- Support for NGO’s. UMG, its employees, artists and songwriters supporting a wide range of NGO’s bringing aid to refugees in the region, including organizations ranging from World Central Kitchen to the International Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps and CARE;
- Supporting Global Citizen’s “Stand Up for Ukraine”. UMG Executive Vice President Michele Anthony played a central role in Global Citizen’s “Stand Up for Ukraine” global social media rally in April, which brought together hundreds of thousands of global citizens, including many UMG artists, other musicians, athletes, actors, creators and activists to prompt and inspire global action to help raise more than $10 billion dollars for Ukraine refugee relief through the EU’s pledging summit;
- “A Concert for Ukraine”. UMG labels Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon partnered with New York’s Metropolitan Opera to release in July 2022 “A Concert for Ukraine”, an album recorded live at the Met on March 14, 2022, featuring a special concert in support of Ukrainians. Conducted by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the album opens with the National Anthem of Ukraine, featuring Ukrainian bass-baritone and Lindemann Young Artist Vladyslav Buialskyi, with proceeds from the sale of the album donated to charities supporting relief efforts in Ukraine;
- Sting’s Re-recording of Hit Song. UMG artist Sting re-recorded his hit song “Russians” with profits to benefit www.helpukraine.center, a volunteer storage center established by Ukrainian business owners to receive humanitarian and medical aid from around the world – with funds being processed through the German charity foundation, Ernst Prost, People for Peace – Peace for People; and
- The Berlin Charity Concert “Sound of Peace” with numerous UMG artists collected millions of Euros with Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey, David Garrett, among many others;
- Many classical charity concerts and releases with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Rolando Villazón, Daniel Barenboim and more.
- The Polish charity Concert arranged with a choir and orchestra of Polish and Ukrainian musicians was broadcasted in 50 countries.
- Many other local projects in various geographies around the world by artists, creators, and UMG staff, including on the Ukrainian border.
Other recipients of the Prize include a wide range of individuals and businesses – from influential policymakers to leading businesses. UMG is the first music company to be awarded the Prize.