Archive for May, 2012

Memorial Concert in honor of Walter Nazarewicz

On Sunday, April 1th, 2012 at the Ukrainian Institute of America was held a Memorial Dinner and Concert in honor of Walter Nazarewicz – esteemed past president of the Ukrainian Institute. At the Concert performed violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv, cellist Natalia Khoma, soprano Oksana Krovytska, pianists Mykola Suk and Volodymyr Vynnytsky.

Walter Nazarewicz

Walter Nazarewicz (1927-2011)

An active member of the Ukrainian-American community and multi-term President of the Ukrainian Institute of America, Walter Nazarewicz was born on July 18, 1927 in New York City. He attended college at the Cooper   Union, where he received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering. Mr. Nazarewicz then went on to obtain his Master’s, also in Chemical Engineering, at New York University. With his formal education completed, Mr. Nazarewicz began to work at the Pfizer Corporation, a leading manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and chemicals. His career at that corporation spanned an impressive 43 years. Between the years of 1972 and 1975, Mr. Nazarewicz and his family lived in Japan, where he founded a subsidiary of Pfizer named Pfizer-Quigley KK. The subsidiary served the Japanese steel industry, which was the largest in the world. In addition, Mr. Nazarewicz succeeded in building for Pfizer over 35 plants in 15 countries, including the United States, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Poland, and Slovakia, among others. Mr. Nazarewicz also served as President of Pfizer’s Minerals, Pigments, and Metal division, which concentrated on serving the paper manufacturing industries of the world.Walter Nazarewicz had also always been interested in Ukrainian traditions and active in the Ukrainian community. Early into his Pfizer career, Mr. Nazarewicz became a member of the Ukrainian Institute of America. Mr. Nazarewicz immediately made his mark on the Institute. He helped to create a special tax status for non-profits, including the Institute. In addition, he was instrumental in the Institute’s sponsorship of Slavic Heritage Week. This magazine was invaluable in that it allowed all Slavic people to write about their culture during the Communist 1980s. Mr. Nazarewicz recognized people who worked and continue to work hard to better the economic and cultural situation of Ukraine and its people – he bestowed Man of the Year awards on former Mayor of Kyiv Oleksander Omelchenko and on Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko.

The Institute has Mr. Nazarewicz to thank for the ongoing restoration of its beautiful mansion on 79th Street. His philanthropic support and the securing of grants from both New York City and State have made an enormous impact on the way that the Institute is able to serve the Ukrainian community. Walter Nazarewicz will be deeply missed, but his legacy at the Institute will live on through all the great work he has done. He is survived by his wife Frances, his children Scott and Susan and grandchildren.


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MATI presented “Europe Between the Wars” on April 7th, 2012

On Saturday, April 7th, 2012 at the Ukrainian Institute of America, Music at the Institute (MATI) presented “Europe Between the Wars” with performances by Solomiya Ivakhiv, violin; Joseph Silverstein, violin; Efe Baltacigil, cello; Gary Graffman, piano.

Violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv has quickly earned a reputation for performing with “a distinctive charm and subtle profundity…” (Daily Freeman). Born in Ukraine, she made her debut with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra at      the age of thirteen. Ms. Ivakhiv has performed at major festivals, including Steamboat Springs in Colorado, Musique de Chambre à Giverny in France, and Prussia Cove in England, and her performances have aired on National Public Radio, Voice of America Radio, Ukrainian National Radio and Television, and China’s Hunan Television. As a chamber musician, Ms. Ivakhiv collaborates with many of today’s finest artists, including Joseph Silverstein,  Claude Frank, and Steven Isserlis. Ms. Ivakhiv regularly performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, and as guest concertmaster with the Fresno Philharmonic and Augusta Symphony. Ms. Ivakhiv is a  graduate of the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music and holds a Doctorate of Music Arts Degree from Stony Brook University. Her principal teachers have been Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, the late Rafael Druian, and  Philip Setzer.

Joseph Silverstein has appeared as both conductor and violin soloist with literally hundreds of orchestras in the United States, Europe, Israel, and the Far East. He is also an active chamber music performer and teacher. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teachers included Efrem Zimbalist and Veda Reynolds, he held positions with the orchestras of Houston, Philadelphia, and Denver before joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1955 as its youngest member. Appointed Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony in 1962, he also organized the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in that year and in 1971 became the Boston Symphony Assistant Conductor. Mr. Silverstein was the Silver medalist in the 1959 Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels and in 1960, won the Walter W. Naumburg Award. An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1993, Mr. Silverstein has served as artistic advisor for many orchestras. Music Director of the Utah Symphony from 1983 to 1998, he became Conductor Laureate in the 1998-99 season. He was Music Director of the Chautauqua Symphony from 1986-87 through 1988-89 and for many seasons, Principal Guest Conductor of Seattle’s Northwest Chamber Orchestra. In recent seasons, he has appeared in recital in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Cleveland, Detroit, and Salt Lake City. He has been on the faculties of Boston University, Susquehanna University, the New England Conservatory, and Yale University, and currently serves on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Tanglewood Music Center. He has received honorary degrees from Boston College, the New England Conservatory, Rhode Island University, and Tufts University. Mr. Silverstein has recorded extensively for many labels, including RCA, Deutsche Grammophon, CBS, Nonesuch, EMI, New World Records, Telarc, Pro Arte, Delos, Image, Sony Classical, and BMG-Verdi. His Telarc recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Boston Symphony received a Grammy nomination.

Cellist Efe Baltacigil was acclaimed by audiences and critics alike in February 2005 when he and pianist Emanuel Ax performed Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 1 at a Philadelphia Orchestra concert with only 10 minutes of rehearsal. Mr. Baltacigil, the Orchestra’s Associate Principal Cellist, and Mr. Ax, the evening’s soloist, were called upon when a winter snowstorm prevented most of the Orchestra from reaching the concert hall. Mr. Baltacigil won the 2005 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and made his New York debut later that year, followed by his Washington, DC debut in 2006. He joined the Seattle Symphony as Principal Cellist in September 2011. He has appeared at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in Richard Goode’s Perspectives series, and performed at the Philadelphia Academy of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Buffalo Chamber Music Society. He has performed the Brahms Sextet with Pinchas Zukerman, Midori, and Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall for Isaac Stern’s memorial, participated in Mr. Ma’s Silk Road Project, toured with Musicians from Marlboro, and is a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Mr. Baltacigil received his Bachelor’s degree from Mimar Sinan University Conservatory in Istanbul in 1998 and an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 2002, where he studied with Peter Wiley and David Soyer. He was the recipient of the Curtis Institute’s Jacqueline DuPré Scholarship. He plays on a Cremoniese cello made in 1680 by Francesco Rugieri given to him by a Turkish sponsor.

Pianist Gary Graffman has been a major figure in the music world since his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of eighteen. For the next three decades he toured almost constantly, playing the most demanding works in the piano literature. His numerous recordings with the orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, and Chicago under such conductors as Bernstein, Ormandy, Szell, and Mehta include concertos by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Brahms, Chopin, and Beethoven; they are still regarded as touchstones. In 1979, however, an injury to his right hand limited Mr. Graffman’s concertizing to the small body of music written for the left hand alone, and he joined the faculty of Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. In 1986, exactly fifty years after entering Curtis as a seven-year-old student, Mr. Graffman was appointed director of that renowned all-scholarship conservatory, also serving as its president from 1995 to 2006. Now retired from administrative duties, Mr. Graffman remains on the Curtis faculty, while continuing his active concert career as a one-handed pianist. In addition to major left-hand concertos by Ravel, Prokofiev, Britten, Strauss, and Korngold, Mr. Graffman’s current repertoire includes six new concertos and one chamber music work commissioned for him, as well as complete recitals for the left hand alone.

The program featured works by Sergei PROKOFIEV,  Maurice RAVEL,  Alexander SCRIABIN and Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD.

“Music at the Institute” was sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075.
Solomiya Ivakhiv — Artistic Director • Mykola Suk — Artistic Advisor.

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