Friday, February 21, 2020, 7:30 PM
Moss Arts Center, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Street and Davis Performance Hall, Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre
Category A $75 | Category B $60 | Category C $40
$10 students with ID and youth 18 and under, 20%-30% subscription discounts available
Volodymyr Sirenko, artistic director and chief conductor
Volodymyr Vynnytsky, piano
“... A program rich with energy and unusually adventurous placed the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in a highly favourable light when it gave its only Sydney concert during its Australian tour... This is an orchestra with many virtues. Its strings can conjure up a vibrant songfulness; the woodwinds have a fruity, penetrating ripeness; the brass could endanger the walls of Jericho; the percussion might wake the dead...” —The Sydney Morning Herald
The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (NSOU) is considered to be one of the finest symphony orchestras in Eastern Europe. Formed by the Council of Ministers of Ukraine in 1918, the orchestra has gained international recognition over a remarkably short period of time. After an appearance in Moscow, famed Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich said, “This orchestra has as distinguished a group of performers as one would be likely to find anywhere. The ensemble of the orchestra is of the highest level. In addition, the various soloists and instrumental groups within the orchestra play exceptionally and complement each other beautifully—as would the greatest of the world’s symphony orchestras.”
The orchestra’s performance will include Kupalo of Kyiv Rus and the Oldest Dances from Verkhovyna by contemporary Ukrainian composer Evhen Stankovych; Camille Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto no. 2, featuring piano soloist Volodymyr Vynnytsky; and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony no. 4 in E minor, op. 98.
The NSOU has been entrusted with the premier performances of the works of many famed composers, including Shostakovich and Stankovych, as well as Sergei Prokofiev, Aram Khatchaturian, Boris Lyatoshynsky, Valentyn Silvestrov, and Myroslav Skoryk.
The NSOU has released more than 100 sound recordings, which include both Ukrainian and international repertoires. Most of these recordings have received international acclaim. In 1994 the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) rated NSOU’s recording of Boris Lyatoshynsky’s Symphonies no. 2 and no. 3 as “The Best Recording of the Year.” The orchestra’s recording of Silvestrov’s Requiem for Larissa was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005, while its Bloch and Lees’ Violin Concertos was nominated for a Grammy Award four years later.
The NSOU has toured throughout Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Belarus, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, England, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.
Volodymyr Sirenko has been the artistic director and chief conductor of the NSOU since 1999, while Alexander Hornostai has been its managing director and producer since 2006. The orchestra’s first conductor was Oleksander Horilyj, and Natan Rachlin served as the artistic director of the orchestra from 1937 until 1962. Stefan Turchak, Volodymyr Kozhuchar, Fedir Hlushchenko, and Igor Blazhkov consequently conducted the orchestra as its principal conductors.
Other conductors who worked with the NSOU include Leopold Stokowski, Igor Markevitch, Kurt Sanderling, Evgeny Mravinsky, Kiril Kondrashin, Evgeny Svetlanov, and Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Soloists who performed with the orchestra include Artur Rubinstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Emil Gilels, Leonid Kogan, Gidon Kremer, Oleh Krysa, Monserrat Caballe, Jose Carreras, and Juan Diego Flores.