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Music From Kyiv Festival to Celebrate Ukrainian Composers

Concerts to focus on three generations of composers from the Ukraine

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November 8, 2010 | by Judy Moore
Chicago-area music lovers have a chance to experience rare music from the Ukraine when Victor Yampolsky conducts the first two festival concerts Nov. 20 and Dec. 1.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Gennady Lyashenko’s cello concerto and two contemporary works by Alexander Shchetynsky are among the pieces that audiences will hear at the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music’s Nov. 20, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 salute to some of the most celebrated Ukrainian composers.

Nearly all of the featured music represents the first performance in the United States or a world premiere.

“Music from Kyiv: A Festival of Ukrainian Composers” spans three generations of composers with ties to the Ukraine, including Sergey Pilyutikov, Valentin Silvestrov, Ivan Taranenko and Tchaikovsky.

The three ticketed festival events will be held at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus, as noted.

Festival director Victor Yampolsky, who serves as the Carol F. and Arthur L. Rice Jr. University Professor in Music Performance at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music, has a special place in his heart for Kyiv, the capital and largest city of Ukraine. It is his mother’s birthplace and the place where his parents first met.

“Kyiv is not only the birthplace of my family, but it also was the first capital of Russia as a country,” said Yampolsky, who was born in the Soviet Union in 1942 and emigrated to the United States in 1973. “As an educator, I feel an obligation to expose Northwestern music students to the music of my homeland.”

Chicago-area music lovers have a chance to experience rare music from the Ukraine when Yampolsky conducts the first two festival concerts Nov. 20 and Dec. 1 and Robert G. Hasty leads the third program on Dec. 2.

Each festival concert will be performed by a different Northwestern instrumental ensemble -- Symphony Orchestra, Contemporary Music Ensemble or the Chamber Orchestra -- and will feature student soloists. The events include:

• Music from Kyiv: A Festival of Ukrainian Composers, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20. Victor Yampolsky, director of orchestras, will conduct the orchestra in a performance of Sergey Pilyutikov’s “Colors and Shadows;” the North American premiere of Gennady Lyashenko’s Cello Concerto, featuring Northwestern doctoral candidate Russell Rolen; and Valentin Silvestrov’s Symphony No. 5. Tickets are $9 for the general public; $7 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5 for students with valid IDs.

• Music from Kyiv: A Festival of Ukrainian Composers, Contemporary Music Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1. Victor Yampolsky will conduct the Contemporary Music Ensemble in a performance of Alexander Shchetynsky’s “A Song of Degrees,” featuring mezzo-soprano and Northwestern graduate student soloist Margaret Mascal, and “Orpheus Traveling.” The program will include Sergey Pilyutikov’s “Glide of the Wing” and “Phoenix.” Ivan Taranenko’s “At First Sight” will feature four saxophonists and five percussionists. Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Music from Kyiv: A Festival of Ukrainian Composers, Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2. Robert G. Hasty, associate director of orchestras, will conduct the Chamber Orchestra in a concert featuring harpist Andrea Mumm, a Northwestern University Concerto/Aria Competition winner. The final festival program will include Lyashenko’s Harp Concerto, Ludmila Yurina’s “Pangea,” Ravel’s “Introduction and Allegro” and Tchaikovsky’s Suite from “Swan Lake.” Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for full-time students with IDs.

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org. To order tickets by phone, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000.