Special Symphonic Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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Special Symphonic Concert
National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, photo: Oleksandr Ivanov

Maxim Berezovsky, dubbed the ‘Ukrainian Mozart’, wrote his Symphony in C major in 1770–1772. This work was long considered lost. After it was rediscovered in the Vatican’s archives at the beginning of the twenty-first century, it was soon hailed as the ‘first Russian symphony’, since from 1759 Berezovsky sang with the Italian opera troupe in Oranienbaum. This composition is an eminent example of just how advanced Ukrainian musical practice was in the eighteenth century, while at the same time manifesting tsarist Russia’s imperialist ambitions, including in the domain of culture.

Yevhen Stankovich, in his Second ‘Dramatic’ Symphony, from 1975, presented a mature and unusual vision of heroism. We find here both militaristic rhythms and restless sonorities characteristic of Borys Lyatoshynsky, as well as lyrical cantilena phrases that skilfully transpose the legacy of eighteenth-century Ukrainian music, including the music of Berezovsky, into contemporary realities.

Jan Lech


Volodymyr Sirenko

Born in the Poltava region of Ukraine, he has been compared by the international press to other brilliant conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen and Simon Rattle.

His conducting debut took place at the Kyiv Philharmonic Hall in 1983 with works by Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schönberg and Pierre Boulez. In 1989 he graduated from the Kyiv Conservatoire where he studied conducting under Prof. Allin Vlasenko. In 1990, he was a finalist at the International Conducting Competition in Prague. A year later, he was appointed as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Ukrainian Radio Symphony Orchestra, a position which he held until 1999. During this period he made over 300 recordings that are kept in the funds of the Ukrainian Radio and include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphonies Nos. 38 in D major Prague, K.504 and 41 in C major Jupiter, K.551, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, Brahms’ German Requiem, Op. 45, Sergei Rachmaninov’s Bells, Op. 35, Dvořák’s Symphonies Nos. 7 in D minor, Op. 70 and 9 in E minor From the New World, op. 95.

Since April of 1999, he has been the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the NSOU. Highlights among hundreds of programmes that he has performed with the orchestra since then were cycles of Gustav Mahler’s complete Symphonies, Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B Minor and all Passions, Boris Lyatoshynsky’s complete Symphonies. He recorded over 50 CDs, of which, Valentin Silvestrov's Requiem for Larissa was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005. He has worked with many international orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, NOSPR in Katowice, the Bratislava Radio Symphony, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

He has appeared in numerous concert halls around the world, including Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Brucknerhaus (Linz), Barbican Hall and Cadogan Hall (London), Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Opéra Comique (Paris), Seoul Art Center, Palau de la Música (Valencia) and Auditorio Manuel de Falla in Granada, Warsaw Philharmonic, Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), Tokyo City Opera and Osaka Symphony Hall, Beijing Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Center of Performing Arts.