Fri, Mar 18, 2022 – Sun, Mar 20, 2022
Kaufman Music Center, Merkin Hall, 129 West 67th Street, Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023
About the 2022 Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival
Started in 2020, the Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival is a platform for the performance and discussion of the complex and unique contributions of Ukrainian composers to contemporary music. Through three separate concert programs and academic discussion with scholars and musicians, the festival engages the intersection of new music, contemporary events and the culture of Ukraine.
Join us for this year’s festival which will journey through the ancient Ukrainian landscape, mythologies of nature and centuries of agrarian life, to the modern city, exploring Ukraine’s diverse landscapes as we contemplate the role of music in our planet’s past, present and future.
Ukraine in 2022: UCMF Statement
While the war effort is of paramount importance, it is also crucial that Ukrainian culture does not disappear. It is the lie that Ukraine has no culture of its own that forms the basis of Vladimir Putin’s claim that Ukraine is not a proper country, a lie that has put the people of Ukraine in grave danger. UCMF 2022 will take place despite the challenges, aiming to showcase Ukrainian artists and music in a time when these matter most. So it more important than ever to give Ukrainian art and artists an international voice. Any and all acts of solidarity with Ukraine are crucial; we encourage you to support Ukrainian artists in any way you can. We are offering three performances by contemporary Ukrainian composers and artists in NYC. We invite you to join us and discover incredible music from Ukraine. Click here or below to get tickets and attend.
Forest Song | Лісова Пісня
Friday, March 18, 2022 at 7:00 PM. Kaufman Music Center, Merkin Hall
Ivan Nebesnyy, Air Music 1/Wind Music
Zoltan Almashi, The echo from hitting the trunk of a dry mountain spruce in Rytsarka Hurna village
Anastasia Belitska, Rusalochka
Ostap Manulyak, Trees
Alla Zahaykevych, Nord/Ouest
Join us in the forest to explore a powerful source of Ukrainian traditions and mythologies. Named after Lesia Ukrainka’s poetic play, this concert reveals contemporary composers’ preoccupation with the natural world and the myths that have grown from the mysterious settings of Ukrainian forests in the North. Mixing instruments and voices with electronics, we present varied realizations of life in the woodlands. The concert culminates with Alla Zahaykevych’s sonic journey through the Polissya region, a site of feral, mystical lands, increasingly depleted since the Chornobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.
Performers include Ekmeles vocal ensemble, James Baker, Itay Lantner, Isabel Lepant Gleicher, Alice Teyssier, Laura Cocks, Gleb Kanasevich, Stella Saliei, Margarita Rovenskaya, Lindsey Eckenroth, Sean Statser and Iryna Klymenko and Serhiy Okhrimchuk of Drevo.
In the Field | Ой у Полі
Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 8pm. Kaufman Music Center, Merkin Hall
Zoltan Almashi, Carpathian Song
Yevhen Stankovych, Morning Music
Myroslav Skoryk, Hutsul Triptych
Improvisations and pieces by String Air Synthesis (duo SAS)
Many Ukrainian folk songs describing the facets of agrarian life begin with the “In the field…” (“Oy, u poli…”). Our second concert explores music inspired by the folk culture that accompanied centuries of rural existence. Works influenced by the Carpathian region and the traditions of the Hutsuls, an ethnographic group of Ukrainian pastoral highlanders, are are juxtaposed with the music of duo SAS, who transform elements of the same sonic world with wholly different results. Their program will include composed pieces in microtonal and even temperament for Kharkiv-style bandura and flute, with the use of extended techniques, synthesized and electronically processed sounds.
Performers include Shelest Piano Duo, Solomiya Ivakhiv, Quynh Nyugen, Sabina Torosjan, Ira Khonen Temple, and duo SAS.
Anthropocene | Антропоцен
Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 3pm. Kaufman Music Center, Merkin Hall
Alexey Shmurak, Greenland
Roman Grygoriv and Illia Razumeiko, Chornobyldorf Partita
Our final concert interrogates the destructive consequences of human exploitation of the Earth, moving from the land as a site of magic and abundance to one of damage and devastation. Alexey Shmurak’s Greenland sheds a reflective light on the erosion of the Arctic, while the Chornobyldorf Partita by Roman Grygoriv and Illia Razumeiko imagines life in a post-apocalyptic world.
Click here or below to see the full list of composers.
Click here or below to see the full list of performers.
Click here for the official 2022 Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival website and more information, including performers, composers, video recordings, photos, past events, media, partners and more. The Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY and the CUNY Adjunct Incubator with the Gittell Urban Studies Collective are proud co-partners and supporters of the Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival organized by Leah Bastone.
Read “Surveying Ukraine’s Musical Landscape: 2020 to 2022” in anticipation of the 2022 Festival from organizer and creative director Leah Batstone who offers an update on Ukraine’s musical landscape since the inaugural Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival in 2020.
For further context read “Constructing a National Canon: Ukraine’s Musical Landscape after the Revolution of Dignity,” reflections from organizer Leah Batstone after the 2020 festival about how changes in contemporary Ukrainian politics and culture are reflected in the music of Ukraine, in the wake of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity.
The Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY and the CUNY Adjunct Incubator with the Gittell Urban Studies Collective are proud co-partners and supporters of the Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival organized by Leah Bastone (Hunter College, CUNY).
Statement from the organizer: “As a musicologist, my research is rooted in intersections of music and politics. I am interested in music’s response to political change and its role in mediating philosophical ideas, particularly its relationship to Leftist discourses, the history of socialism in the 20th century, and challenges to narratives of hegemonic cultures. The Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival grew out of a project I conducted examining how musical programming had changed in Ukraine following the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. It has continued to serve as a site to investigate the newest music and composers from Ukraine as well as to examine their works as part of a longer history of Europe’s largest country. The geopolitical circumstances coinciding with this year’s festival make the need to highlight the anti-imperial narratives of Ukrainian music even more relevant and urgent.”