At home in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, the Symphony Orchestra of the Tchaikovsky Music Academy looks back on more than 90 years of history. Its continuous and professional training reflects the structures of Russian music education, which earned the Kiev Conservatory, founded in 1913, a prominent rank, comparable to similar institutions in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Today, the orchestra includes roughly 100 musicians; attendance is obligatory for students of the various instrument groups. During the academic year, rehearsals take place twice a week. The repertoire ranges from Ludwig van Beethoven’s symphonies to French and German romanticism and Russian symphonic works, all the way to current works by Ukrainian composers. Pieces by Valentin Silvestrov and Miroslav Skoryk were already featured on the 2002 concert programme with which the Symphony Orchestra of the Tchaikovsky Music Academy successfully introduced itself at the Young Euro Classic Festival. After another visit in 2005, the Ukrainian youth orchestra now performs in Berlin for the third time.
The Ukrainian conductor Igor Palkin was born into a family of musicians in Kharkiv in 1959. From 1978 to 1984 he studied choral conducting, piano and conducting at the State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Kiev, where Roman Kofman was among his teachers. After this he began his career as a conductor, which also took him to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1989. Apart from the Ukraine’s leading orchestras, Palkin has been invited to guest-conduct orchestras in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and other European countries. His opera includes even rarities such as Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, Prokofiev’s Duenna, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan as well as Love Letters and Solitude by the Ukrainian composer Vitaly Gubarenko. Palkin is currently conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Ukrainian National Philharmonic and chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the National Tchaikovsky Music Academy in Kiev.
Even before his sixth birthday, Dima Tkachenko, a native of the Ukraine, began taking violin lessons. After graduating from the Lysenko Music School in Kiev and the National Music Academy of the Ukraine, he was invited to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 1998. Afterwards, he launched an international career which has taken him all over Europe, Asia and America. Among its highlights were performances at the Great Concert Hall in Moscow, at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Palau de la Música in Barcelona and Carnegie Hall in New York. Tkachenko’s repertoire includes all the great violin concerti, from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to Mozart and Mendelssohn and all the way to Berg, Schoenberg, Shostakovich and Lutoslawski. Tkachenko teaches at the Ukraine’s National Music Academy, gives master classes and serves on the juries of various international competitions. He is also the co-founder and artistic director of the International Benjamin Britten Violin Competition in London.
Symphony No. 2 in C-Minor
Op. 17 «Ukrainian» (1872)
Symphony «Stagnation» (2012, German Premiere)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 (2006, German Premiere)
7 pm: Pre-concert Lecture in the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free for ticket holders (admission at 6:45 pm)
Moderation: Lea Fink
In cooperation with the Körber Foundation.
For months, the Ukraine has been in the headlines, with Russia’s political influence causing severe problems for the country. Culture, on the other hand, tries to send a positive signal, not least classical music. This art form flourished as early as the 19th century in the Ukraine and received plentiful attention during the Soviet years up to 1991. Accordingly, the Tchaikovsky Music Academy in Kiev and its Symphony Orchestra, which now makes its third appearance at Young Euro Classic, look back on a long tradition. The music students from the Ukrainian capital offer a very attractive programme: the rarely-heard Symphony No. 2 by the Academy’s namesake Tchaikovsky, in which he used Ukrainian folk melodies, and two very recent works by Ukrainian composers differing strongly from the other and thereby shedding a powerful light on the country’s current music scene, Andrey Merkhel and Yevhen Stankovych.
The concert will be recorded by kulturradio by rbb (UKW 92.4 and Cable 95.35) and broadcast as part of the ARD Radio Festival.