The Ukrainian contemporary music festival kicks off in New York

The “Ukrainian contemporary music festival 2020” ran from 28 February to 1 March in New York, featuring academic works from the late Soviet period to the present.

The compositions of Miroslav Skoryk, Valentyn Sylvestrov, Svyatoslav Lunyov, Lyudmila Yurina, Yevhen Stankovych, Anna Korsun, and many others were performed in Manhattan. Overall, more than 30 musicians from New York and Ukraine took part in the festival.

Dr Leah Batstone, the festival’s director and musicologist, commented the initiative: “The idea of the festival came to me last year when I came to Ukraine to explore the shifts in the Ukrainian music after the Revolution of Dignity. Also, according to the terms of the grant by the New York City University, I had to organise a thematic public event. The Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival 2020 was a happy combination of the two.”

Discussions with the participation of scholars and researchers studying Ukrainian culture ran in addition to concerts of contemporary academic music.
The first day of the festival began with an art discussion “50 Years of Ukrainian Culture: Music, Literature and Art” with the participation of Mark Andrushchik (Columbia University), Elena Martyniuk (Columbia University), and Oksana Nesterenko (New York University, Stone-Brook).

“We have chosen a time frame of 50 years to show the accumulation of change initiated by the Sixties and continued by contemporaries,” says Leah Batstone, explaining the concept of the debate, “because the upheavals, that took place in music in the early years of independence, were largely a reaction and response to the late Soviet era.”

Each roundtable and discussion block was accompanied by a concert, thematically related to the topic of the previous discussion.

The event was implemented by the Ukrainian Institute in cooperation with Razom Inc.