Last week the London Performing Academy of Music (LPMAM) celebrated the graduation of its very first intake of Ukrainian refugee music students.

LPMAM has, since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, successfully brought 54 music students to safety, 32 of whom are currently studying in London, while other young Ukrainians are following their coursework online in their home country.

LPMAM has been supported in its work to help the student refugees by the UK’s recorded music industry, with funding received from UK music licensing company PPL and support from UK record labels association the BPI, and scholarships donated by The BRIT Awards and Universal Music UK.  However, LPMAM is in desperate need for further funding to continue its programme, and is calling for more support from other parts of the industry.

Speaking after the Winter Graduation Ceremony on 9th October at London’s Conway Hall, Dr. Stefania Passamonte, the inspirational founder of LPMAM, who has worked tirelessly to help refugee music students from Ukraine find safety in the UK and in other parts of Europe, said: 

“We’re so moved by this inaugural success of students saved from the conflict in Ukraine… even more so as three of them had to return after their exams and could not be honoured in person. We’re happy, though, that our talented cello graduand, Arsenyi, was able to secure a visa to join us from his base in Germany, which meant he could also perform with us for the first time in person in London!”

Along with the diploma-giving, the ceremony featured a short performance by the Ukrainian students followed by a reception. Also in attendance was the Master of the World Traders (the livery company of the new Lord Mayor of London), and the Court member of the Educators, as well as representatives of PPL and the BPI.

The LPMAM Ukrainian refugee students have been very active in performing and raising awareness on their mission to keep their identity alive through their Ukrainian music despite their families and country still under bombings. An example of their resilience are their performances for: the United Nations Refugee Agency in London; the Foreign Minister’s Christmas Reception at Lancaster House; the Carol Service for the Lord Mayor of London; the Music Education Awards on 23rd February 2023 (marking 1 year since the beginning of the war in Ukraine); the Diocese of Europe for online service in the run up to Christmas to bring people together to pray for peace in Ukraine; and the Youth PROMs at Royal Albert Hall.