About this CUNY Adjunct Incubator Project

As part of a research project supported by the CUNY Adjunct Incubator, Leah Batstone, an Adjunct Teacher in the Music Department at Hunter College, CUNY, is developing a research project which explores the relationship between political change and art music culture in 20th century Ukraine, with particular attention to the third revolution of 2014. Her project examines how the repertoire of musical institutions including major symphonic orchestras and large-scale music festivals has changed since 2014.

Dr. Batstone's current research concerns the role of Ukraine's art music community in the country's cultural response to national redefinition. Following the 2014 Revolution of Dignity, the repertoire of the country's three major orchestras (the National Symphony in Kyiv, the Lviv Philharmonia, and the Odesa Philharmonic Orchestra) reveals a significant shift that has turned not towards a one-dimensional view of Ukrainian identity, but rather cosmopolitan and avant-garde works that celebrate Ukraine's diverse ethnic and religious composition and rich intellectual history. In the last five years, the National Symphony has collaborated with the Israeli embassy to recognize the events at Babyn Yar and celebrated living composer Yevhen Stankovych, whose avant-garde works treat a number of confessional themes. Turkish, Greek and Jewish composers make up a considerable portion of the performance repertoire of the Odesa Philharmonic, and the music festivals that have become an integral part of the Lviv Philharmonia's annual season have turned increasingly towards avant-garde and multi-ethnic programs. This new musical diversity hints at a particular representation of Ukraine that embraces the country's historical transnationalism and the societal importance of the intellectual that has been the topic of recent scholarly works in a variety of fields. This project adds a musicological perspective to these discussions.

The 2020 Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival

As part of Leah Batstone's research project, the CUNY Adjunct Incubator & the Center for the Humanities are proud to help support The Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival 2020 taking place Fri, Feb 28th through Sun, Mar 1 at The Graduate Center, CUNY, Hunter College, and the Ukrainian Museum in NYC, bringing the new music of Ukraine to the world’s most exciting musical center, and contextualizing this important repertoire through discussion with scholars, performers, and composers. Visit the website here to learn more about the festival.

This project is part of the CUNY Adjunct Incubator and is co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Gittell Urban Studies Collective at the Graduate Center, CUNY.