Ukraine Celebrates Independence Day with Two I, CULTURE Concerts in Kiev
small, Ukraine Celebrates Independence Day with Two I, CULTURE Concerts in Kiev, Lisa Batiashvili, the I, CULTURE soloist during the concert at the Maidan in Kiev, photo: IAM, ico-majdan-12.jpg
During Ukraine’s Independence Day, 24th August 2015, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko proclaimed that the I, CULTURE Orchestra’s concerts in Kiev were the greatest cultural events that day. “It’s particularly important today while Ukraine continues to resist Russian aggression in the east.”
Made up of 94 young musicians from Eastern Partnership countries, the I, CULTURE Orchestra (ICO) has members from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia, Poland and Ukraine. They all took the stage in Kiev on 24th August, the Independence Day of Ukraine, at the Ukrainian National Opera House and then the capital’s main square, Maidan Nezalezhnosti. They were accompanied by the Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili.
“This is the greatest event of today’s festivities. It’s particularly important today while Ukraine continues to resist Russian aggression in the east,” said Kyrylenko, Minister of Culture. Henryk Litwin, Polish ambassador to the Ukraine, declared that ICO’s two concerts were a present to Ukraine for the 24th anniversary of their proclamation of independence. “It’s an expression of solidarity with the Ukrainians and Ukraine in their battle for independence. We hope that you will prevail,” said Litwin.
The orchestra visited Kiev as part of a concert series that began 17th August in Gdansk and will end in Santander in Spain at the Santander International Festival. The musicians are being led by Kirill Karabits, the renowned Ukrainian conductor, who is working with I, CULTURE Orchestra for the third time.
The concert in Kiev was held under the title: “The European Symphony of Ukrainian Independence”. ICO performed Ukraine’s national anthem, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto I in D Major, Op. 19, Leoš Janáček’s symphonic rhapsody Taras Bulba, and the identically-titled overture to an opera by Mykola Lysenko. During the second half of the evening held at Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the musicians played Beethoven’s Ode to Joy as well as other pieces.
i culture orchestra
The ICO musicians met up in the first half of August 2015 during a residence in Gdańsk where their excelled in their workshops and prepared their tour programme under the direction of fifteen eminent orchestral musicians from Great Britain, Germany, Norway, USA and South Africa. They played this year’s inaugural concert on 17th August at The Polish Baltic Frédéric Chopin Philharmonic, then they played Berlin on 20th August, and Kiev last night. Their next concerts will take place 26th August in Georgia (Batumi Art & Music Centre) and 28th August in Spain at the Santander International Festival (Palacio de Festivales).
Kirill Karabits, the distinguished Ukrainian conductor working with ICO for the third time, has also been the orchestra’s artistic director since last year. Maestro Karabits is a laureate of the highest British music prize at the Royal Philharmonic Society Award, Conductor of the Year (2013). He also fills the role of chief conductor for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and will be the artistic director and head conductor for the Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar in 2016/17.
Sources: PAM, IAM, translated by AZ.