About this music festival

Watch hlighlights of the 2020 Ukrainian Contemporary Music festival:

Click here to view performances and concerts from the festival. Click here to watch talks & discussions from the concert, and here for images.

The 2020 Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival will bring the new music of Ukraine to the world’s most exciting musical center, and will contextualize this important repertoire through discussion with scholars, performers, and composers.


50 Years of Ukrainian Culture: Music, Literature, & Art

Hosted by the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY we will open the festival with a pre-concert roundtable discussion of Ukrainian literature, music and visual art of the past 50 years. Dr. Mark Andryczyk (Columbia University) will discuss Ukraine’s literary development since the late Soviet period while Dr. Olena Martynyuk (Columbia University) will provide an overview of visual arts culture. Oksana Nesterenko (SUNY Stony Brook) will compare music climate in Ukraine before and after the Declaration of Independence (1991), with a particular focus on spiritual themes in the music of the most prominent composers of the 1960s generation. Click here for more information about the speakers.

Musical Concert, 6:30 PM: The first concert of the festival will feature performances of some of Ukraine’s most well-established living composers.

PROGRAM TO INCLUDE: Myroslav Skoryk, Three Extravagant Dances; Ihor Shcherbakov, Canzone for Two Violins; Virko Baley, Journey after Loves; Yevhen Stankovych, Kupala Songs; Hanna Havrylets, A Red Sun after Oleksandr Oles.

PERFORMERS: Anastysia Antoniv and Iryna Kit, violin; Dominik Belavy, baritone; Eric Sedgwick, piano; Shelest Piano Duo; Dumka Ukrainian Chorus. Click here for more information about the performers.

This discussion and musical concert is free and open to the public, but please click here to RSVP.

Music and Revolution in Ukraine

Ukraine’s musical history has been intimately tied to moments of political revolution. Our Saturday events feature works of revolutionary composers and their musical responses to oppression and liberation.

The program will open with three academic talks on various composers and their musical interactions with political change. Dr. Inessa Bazayev (Lousiana State University) will discuss the unique compositional approaches of one of Ukraine’s early Soviet avant-garde composers and the ways in which his music reflected his responses to the developments of Communism. Dr. Peter Schmelz (Arizona State University, current Guggenheim fellow) will discuss one of Ukraine’s most important living composers, Valentyn Sylvestrov, providing an overview of his career and comparing his works from the 1960s to more recent compositions. Dr. Leah Batstone (Hunter College, CUNY) will explore the changing landscape of music in Ukraine following the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. These talks will be complemented by a concert of works from Roslavets, Sylvestrov, and those responding to the events on Maidan. Click for more information about this event, including a list of the performers and composers for the musical concert.

Composer’s Roundtable

Ludmila Yurina will introduce this roundtable with a short history of approaches to the education of contemporary composers in Ukraine. This will serve as the starting point for a discussion Ukraine’s contemporary music with Anna Korsun, Svyatoslav Lunyov and legendary Ukrainian composer, Leonid Hrabovsky, moderated by Yurina. A concert of their music alongside works by their peers and students will follow.

Ludmila Yurina, “Educating Ukraine’s Composers: Generational Perspectives.” Followed by discussion with Anna Korsun, Svyatoslav Lunyov, and Leonid Hrabovsky.

Click for more information about this event, including a list of the performers and composers for the musical concert.

This festival was organized by Leah Batstone and Ludmila Yurina. For more information about 2020 Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival, visit the official website here.

Co-sponsored by The Center for Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY; The Ukrainian Institute (Kyiv, Ukraine); Razom; Hunter College Music Department; Hunter College Department of Russian and East European Cultures; Columbia University's Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute; New York University School of Music, The Ukrainian Institute of America (NY), and the Ukrainian Museum.