The Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine is a unique project, which brings together talented young musicians aged 12 to 22 from all parts of Ukraine and supports their education. After its 2018 Young Euro Classic debut, the orchestra makes its second festival appearance. The Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv initiated this project, supported by the German National Youth Orchestra, the Beethovenfest Bonn and Deutsche Welle. The first performances of the newly created Ukrainian ensemble took place together with the German National Youth Orchestra in 2017, with concerts in Lviv, Kyiv, Berlin and Bonn. The orchestra has performed at the LvivMozArt Festival in Lviv, at the National Philharmonic of Ukraine in Kyiv, the Odessa National Opera and the Musikverein in Graz. In August 2019 the orchestra was in residence at the Bayreuth Festival of Young Artists.
Since the outbreak of the Russian war on Ukraine, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine has initiated a large-scale evacuation project for young Ukrainian musicians together with the Slovenian Youth Orchestra, “Music for the Future” in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv, herself the daughter of two musicians, received her musical education at the music academy of her hometown in Lviv. In 2013 she was appointed assistant to the general music director Kirill Petrenko at the Bavarian State Opera. In 2017 Oksana Lyniv became chief conductor of the Graz Opera; in 2022 she became general music director at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Last year she celebrated her successful debut as the first female conductor in the history of the Bayreuth Festival with Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer. In March 2022 she led a new production of Puccini’s Turandot at the Rome Opera. In addition to her international career, Oksana Lyniv is a passionate advocate for classical music in Ukraine and Ukraine’s cultural ambassador to the world. She founded the international festival LvivMozArt in Lviv in 2017, which was inspired by the historical work of Mozart’s son Franz Xaver in Lviv. In 2016 she initiated the founding of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, whose artistic director she has been ever since.
The Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Nataliia Kukhar (b. 1991) studied in Lviv and has been a member of the International Opera Studio “OperAvenir” at the Basel Theatre since the 2021/22 season. Master courses with Montserrat Caballé in Spain and Olga Pasichnyk in Poland completed her education. Between 2018 and 2021 she was a member the Opera Academy for young talents of the National Polish Opera in Warsaw. After her debut as Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Lviv Opera, she has appeared at the Cracow Opera, the Polish National Opera and the Polska Opera Królewska in Warsaw and at the Innsbruck Festival of Ancient Music. In 2023, she appears in Salome and Rigoletto at the Basel Theatre. Among her recent engagements are also Il barbiere di Siviglia in Cracow, L’empio punito in Innsbruck, Rodelinda in Warsaw, The Fiery Angel with Polish National Opera and Don Giovanni in Lviv.
The Ukrainian violinist Andrii Murza is the founder and artistic director of the International Violin Competition in Odessa. He has performed at numerous important festivals and concert series, including the Heidelberg International Festival, Santander International Festival, the MDR Music Summer and the LvivMozArt International Festival. The violinist is regularly invited for recitals and chamber music programmes in Switzerland, France, Germany, China and Spain. After receiving his first training in Odessa, Murza studied at the Music Academy Reina Sofia in Madrid and at the Mannheim Academy of Music and Performing Arts. Studying with outstanding musicians such as Pinchas Zukerman, Zakhar Bron, Viviane Hagner, Miriam Fried and Ferenc Rados had a profound influence on his professional development. He has been a member of the first violin section at the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra since 2016. Murza plays a violin built by Auguste Sebastien Philippe Bernadel (father) in 1840.
“Maria’s City” (2022, German Premiere) 🏆
“Ukrainian Poem” for Violin and Orchestra (1997)
Chamber Cantata No. 3 on texts by Pavlo Tychina (1982)
”Grazyna” Symphonic Poem Op. 58 (1955)
Symphony No. 9 in E-minor Op. 95 ”From the New World“ (1893)
About the concert
Even in the fall of 2021, when we began planning our festival programme, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine was part of our plans. When the war broke out, the Festival’s leadership and the orchestra jointly decided to reserve this evening for the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. This corresponds with the wishes of the young musicians themselves.
The programme is a wonderful mix of rarities and repertoire: the programmatic beginning is Zoltan Almashi’s Maria’s City, followed by Beethoven’s overture to Goethe’s Egmont – a plea against oppression and occupation. The evening’s centrepiece are two Ukrainian works: a symphonic poem by Borys Lyatoshynsky, a late romantic considered the father of an independent Ukrainian orchestral school, and a Chamber Cantata for voice and orchestra composed by Oleh Kyva in 1982, celebrating the eternal beauty of the world. The wonderful, optimistic finale is Dvořák’s melodious Ninth Symphony “From the New World” – which, in contrast to its suggestive title, is first and foremost a testament to the composer’s longing for his Bohemian homeland while in the USA. The orchestra is led – as it was at its festival debut in 2018 – by Oksana Lyniv, the Ukrainian shooting star who became the first woman ever to conduct in Bayreuth last year.
The concert will be streamed LIVE on ARTE CONCERT and will be available afterwards in the media library: arteconcert.com.
The concert will be recorded by rbbKultur (UKW 92,4 and Kabel 95,35) and broadcast on 4.9. as part of the ARD Radio Festival.