Strasbourg Hosts Musica Liberat Concert Dedicated to Khodorkovsky and Lebedev

July 5, 2011

A charity concert to raise awareness of abuses of human rights in Russia will be dedicated to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. The concert, entitled ‘Musica Liberat’, will take place in Strasbourg on July 5, 2011 and aims to focus attention on the human rights situation and lack of respect for the rule of law in Russia.

The event brings together world renowned musicians, including Martha Argerich, Evgeny Kissin, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Anatoli Kotscherga, and Roman Kofman accompanied by the Kremerata Baltica. The organizers chose to dedicate the concert to Khodorkovsky and Lebedev because they view the two men as “living symbols of the world’s failed hopes for rule of law and freedom of expression in Russia. They have now spent almost 8 years in jail and the gross mishandling of their case has inspired imitation by corrupt officials across Russia, spreading impunity and deepening corruption throughout the country.”

  • Read commentary from Gidon Kremer on the concert on CNN International

The event is organized in partnership with human rights organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch; Memorial, a civil rights association founded in the Soviet Union; and Professor Elie Wiesel, a celebrated human rights activist.

Watch Professor Wiesel give an address to the concert attendees (in French):

The idea for the concert was conceived in 2009 when composer Arvo Pärt prefaced his symphony “Los Angeles” with a dedication to Khodorkovsky. The choice of location in the very heart of Strasbourg “exemplifies the universal values of human rights which unite Europe”.

In a statement recognising the concert, German Minister of Justice, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has stated ‘cases of proceedings in breach of the rule of law, such as those against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, as well as tragic deaths such as that of Sergei Magnitsky, show that Russia still has a long way to go before it fulfils European and international standards’. She adds:

“President Medvedev has recognised this sorry situation and has dedicated himself to the fight against “legal nihilism”. This commitment is not only necessary to adhere to international human rights standards, but is also in Russia’s own economic interests. Urgently-needed foreign investments will only be attracted if companies can rely on an effective state under the rule of law and on state institutions that are free of corruption”.

“Key actors in civil society in Russia must bring about this transformation themselves, and convince the majority of citizens that respecting the principles of the rule of law and of human rights will benefit all Russians and that their country is not a “special case”, as is often claimed by fatalists. Foreign players and events such as this help the Russians to win through and show them that they are not alone in their struggle for civil rights”.

Read the statement in full, here.

The concert begins at 8.30pm in the Erasme Room at the Palais de la Musique et des Congrès. Tickets may be purchased online at or by telephone on +33 (0)3 88324310.

For more information, please visit the website or for further enquiries, email