First-ever English translation of Shevchenko’s complete Kobzar presented at the Ukrainian Institute of America

In June 2010, when Pennsylvania-born Peter Fedynsky was nearing the end of his tenure as Voice of America’s Moscow Bureau Chief, a talk with some Tajik construction workers in Russia led him to a fateful decision. The casual conversation, he recalled in an interview recently, made him ponder the difficult lot of ordinary Russians and Ukrainians. “They are both wonderful peoples that have suffered under callous leaders, corrupt elites and rigged justice,” said Fedynsky. “As I crossed a bridge over the Moscow River, I looked at the nearby Shevchenko monument, and a feeling swept across my chest that said, ‘Translate The Kobzar,’ because its depiction of that lot is still relevant, and the poems are enormously entertaining to boot. I rushed to my apartment, which was about five minutes away, pulled out my laptop and started.”

This past October 11th, Fedynsky, now retired from his 30-plus career as a journalist, stood on a podium at the Ukrainian Institute of America (UIA) in New York to introduce the public to the fruit of that decision: the first-ever English translation of the entire Kobzar, Taras Shevchenko’s iconic collection of poetry. The book presentation was one in a series of events the UIA, one of the book’s sponsors, has organized to mark the Bicentennial of Shevchenko’s birth in 2014.

It’s a sure bet that just about every Ukrainian would be familiar with at least some of Shevchenko’s work. While parts of the Kobzar have been previously translated into English and other languages, the significance of Fedynsky’s translation of the complete Kobzar may well be that a good part of the rest of the world can now get a much broader perspective on Shevchenko’s genius and relevance, according to attendees at the book presentation.

“This full English translation makes the seminal 19th Century masterpiece, long a national treasure, immediately accessible to a broad, international audience,” said Andrew Horodysky, a private art consultant. “For both the lay and academic public, It opens the door to the spiritual and psychological condition of Ukraine,” he added. “It is at once contemporary in linguistic treatment, yet vehemently maintains and defends the relevancy of the poet’s sensibilities and prophetic observations.” Echoing Horodysky, Sofika Zielyk, a pysanka artist, noted that it was “high time the rest of the world hears Shevchenko’s prophetic voice and understands why we consider him the greatest poet of our nation.” And from the perspective of a Ukrainian language teacher who tutors children and teenagers in the Ukrainian language, culture and literature, she said that thanks to Fedynsky’s translation of the Kobzar her pupils, “whose native language is English, will be better able to appreciate Shevchenko’s genius.”

Asked about his own views on Shevchenko’s relevance and appeal to non-Ukrainians, Fedynsky held that the poet’s treatment of topics such as love, brotherhood, justice, envy, fame, religious faith or lack thereof, as well as hope and despair are universal themes that transcend time and place. “Non-Ukrainians can learn from Shevchenko about Ukraine and perhaps wonder how it is that such a large piece of real estate and its people were kept hidden from the rest of the world for centuries. The world may also learn that slavery and authoritarian rule are more pernicious than they imagined, but also that hope springs eternal.” Of added interest to non-Ukrainians, he said, is that Shevchenko’s poetry spans a broad geography, taking the reader “on a journey involving about 20 countries, from Egypt, Israel and the Holy Land, through ancient Rome, Turkey, Poland, The Czech Republic, Russia, and on to Kazakhstan, with China, Japan and the United States making brief appearances.”

Fedynsky also sees parallels between the dark side of life in Shevchenko’s day as described in the Kobzar, and the social and political upheavals in today’s Ukraine. “What is today’s sex trafficking of Ukrainian women by the hundreds of thousands if not the rapes of Ukrainian women in serfdom described by Shevchenko? What are mazhory, the spoiled and law-breaking brats of today’s elites, if not Shevchenko’s lordlings (panychi)? What are the bitter political rivalries of contemporary Ukraine if not struggles involving such infamous figures depicted in the Kobzar as Galagan, Kisil and Kochubey-Nahay?” Still, said Fedynsky, despite the “downers”, Shevchenko leaves the reader “with a sense of beauty and hope that those problems can and will be solved.”

At the UIA presentation, Fedynsky also addressed some of the more controversial passages in the Kobzar, such as perceived anti-Semitism, xenophobia or anti-Catholicism. The Kobzar is not without “dissonance,” he said, but Shevchenko resolves the dissonance “through appeals to brotherhood as well as explicit condemnations of the hate that some accuse him or harboring.” For example, while Shevchenko denounced Russian czars, he praised writer Mikhail Lermontov as a saint and reformer Alexander Herzen as an apostle, Fedynsky noted. Moreover, most of Shevchenko’s negative portrayals of Jews “were expressed by characters that were demented or drunk.” Other negative portrayals, he said, struck him as “gratuitous” or in the vein of literary anti-Semitism seen in such writers as Dostoyevsky, Dickens, T.S. Eliot and others. “In real life,” he added, “there is a documented instance of Shevchenko running into the burning home of a Ukrainian Jew to help save his belongings, and then chastising others for not helping. Shevchenko and other Ukrainian intellectuals also signed an open letter to a St. Petersburg newspaper in support of Jews, which was a very bold move for its time, especially considering that it came soon after his release from ten years of exile.” In his foreword to Fedynsky’s translation, Michael M. Naydan, professor of Ukrainian Studies an Pennsylvania State University, similarly notes that Shevchenko’s basic humanity was recognized by Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who wrote that “Shevchenko gave his people and the entire world brilliant and unshakable proof that the Ukrainian soul is capable of flying at the highest reaches of cultural innovation.”

While previous translations of some of Shevchenko’s poetry tried to retain the rhyme of the original work, Fedynsky opted for free verse. The reason, he said, is that while most literary translations involve a compromise between aesthetics and meaning, “the problem is particularly acute with Shevchenko’s Kobzar, because his language is so light and eloquent that even translators in other Slavic languages have trouble conveying it. So instead of focusing on how Shevchenko wrote, I decided to translate what he wrote, because his content is as compelling as his language is beautiful.” Fedynsky said he kept only two rules for his translation: “strict adherence to the meaning of the original, and a constant rhythm, which was facilitated by the rich vocabulary of English.”

Judging by audience reaction at the UIA event, Fedinsky may have a hit on his hands. The sizable crowd was entertained by a rollicking presentation that ranged from the reading of excerpts from the translation, to displays of replicas of some of Shevchenko’s most renowned paintings, to musical interludes selected to show the range of Shevchenko’s taste—such as Beethoven– and reflecting the songs he mentions in the Kobzar.

Readings and performances were given by Fedynsky; the Ukrainian-American poet Dzvinia Orlowsky, a teacher of poetry at Pine Manor College near Boston; Bob Holman, founder and proprietor of New York’s Bowery Poetry Club and teacher of creative writing at NYU and Columbia University; violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv, the artistic director of the UIA’s Music at the Institute (MATI) concert series; pianist Pavlo Gintov, who studied at the Lysenko Conservatory in Kyiv and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow; Jurij Fedynsky, a North Carolina native who moved to Ukraine in 2002 and where he has been active in helping revive kobza and similar Ukrainian musical instruments traditions; and Bridget Cory, an American singer who tours with British rock star Rod Stewart. Cory performed a rousing rendition of Yes My Darling Daughter, by American songwriter Jack Lawrence. The tune, a major American hit in 1941, was based on Oy, ne khody Hrytsiu, a melody that Shevchenko mentioned.

Shevchenko, no doubt, would have been pleased.

By Roman Czajkowsky
This article was published in The Ukrainian Weekly on October 27, 2013.
www.ukrweekly.com

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Paperback and hardback editions of the English-version Kobzar, published by London, U.K.-based Glagoslav Publications, are available on amazon.com. A gift edition – a hefty tome that weighs in on 500 pages and contains numerous illustrations of Shevchenko’s paintings, drawings and photo-portraits—as well as electronic versions are available on the publisher’s web site, glagoslav.com. The publication also has a Facebook site, Kobzar Tweet.

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Art @ the Institute. 20th Century Modern Ukrainian Art.

The Ukrainian Institute of America is pleased to present the 20th Century Modern Ukrainian Art Exhibit. The exhibition opened on September 28, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America and is on display until November 13, 2013. This exhibit features works by Archipenko, Andreenko, Burliuk, Gritchenko, Hnizdovsky, Hutsaliuk, Olenska-Petryshyn, and Solovij. The Ukrainian Institute of America invites its members and the general public to a reception on October 29, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. marking one of the last opportunities to view this Exhibition.

Mykhailo ANDREENKO-NECHYTAILO (1894 – 1982)

Mykhailo Andreenko-Nechytailo was born in 1894 in Odessa, Ukraine.
He studied at the art school of the Society for the Promotion of the Arts in Saint Petersburg with N. Rerikh, A. Rylov, and I. Bilibin. In 1914–16 he exhibited the composition Black Dome and his first cubist works in Saint Petersburg and participated in an international graphics exhibition in Leipzig. From 1917–24 he devoted most of his time to designing stage sets for various theaters—in Saint Petersburg, Odessa, Prague, Paris, and for the Royal Opera in Bucharest. In 1923, Andreenko-Nechytailo moved to Paris, where he worked on films such as Casanova and Sheherazade and continued to paint in the cubist-constructivist style. In the 1930s Andreenko-Nechytailo produced a series of surrealist paintings. He switched to neorealism in the 1940s and painted a number of portraits as well as a series the cityscapes. Andreenko-Nechytailo`s work is characterized by a precision of composition that harmonizes subtly with color. His stage sets are remarkable for their laconic quality and architectural schematism, and his costume designs, for their richness. He died in 1982 in Paris, France.

Yuriy SOLOVIJ (1921-2008)

A graduate of the Lviv Arts and Crafts School (1944) and a postwar refugee in Germany and then the United States, Solovij experimented with several styles (postimpressionism, expressionism, abstract expressionism). He used mixed media in unusual combinations and was preoccupied with the themes of birth and death. His later works deal with the universality of pain in human life. Some of his characteristic works are Motherhood (1947), Astral (1948), Crucifixion (1950, 1969), and the series ‘1,000 Heads.’ Solo exhibitions of his works were held in New York (1959, 1965, 1970, 1972, 2000), Chicago (1960, 1972, 1980), Toronto (1963, 1972, 1973), Munich (1971), and Winnipeg (1973). His art criticism were published in the émigré press and separately as Pro rechi bil’shi nizh zori (About Things Greater than Stars, 1978).

Alexander ARCHIPENKO (1887-1964)

Archipenko was a Ukrainian avant-garde artist, sculptor, and graphic artist. He was born in Kyiv and attended the Kyiv Art School. A year later moved to Moscow where he participated in exhibitions with symbolists such as Kazimir Malevich and Mikhail Vrubel, and first was exposed to the work of artists from Paris such as Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Gaugin, van Gogh and Matisse. Archipenko moved to Paris in 1908 and was a resident of La Ruche, a neighborhood of émigré Eastern European painters. During World War I, the artist sought exile in Nice, and then moved to Germany in 1921. He finally settled in the US where he lived until his death. In art, Archipenko departed from the neo-classical sculpture of his time, using faceted planes and negative space to create a new way of looking at the human figure, showing a number of views of the subject simultaneously. He is known for introducing sculptural voids, and for his inventive mixing of genres throughout his career: devising ‘sculpto-paintings’, and later experimenting with materials such as clear acrylic and terra cotta.

Jacques HNIZDOVSKY (1915-1985)

Hnizdovsky was a Ukrainian-American painter, printmaker, sculptor, ex libris designer, book illustrator, and art historian. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and Zagreb, and produced hundreds of paintings, as well as over 300 prints after his move to the United States in 1949. He was inspired by woodblock printing in Japan as well as the woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer. Hnizdovsky’s woodcuts frequently depict plants and animals, and the primary reason for this, in the beginning, after his arrival in the United States, was the lack of funds to pay for a human model. But what was first a substitute for the human form later became his primary subject matter. He was well known in the botanical gardens and zoos in New York, where he would find subjects willing to pose for no cost. The sheep from the Bronx Zoo went on to be the print Hnizdovsky was best known for, and it illustrated the poster for his very successful exhibition at the Lumley Cazalet Gallery in London.

Arcadia OLENSKA-PETRYSHYN (1934-1996)

Olenska-Petryshyn was a notable Ukrainian-American artist and critic. She was born in Galicia, Ukraine. An émigré to the US since 1950, she completed her studies at the University of Chicago. Most of her work consists of lithographs, graphics and oils. Her early works were abstract, then she depicted human figures with expressionless faces, recently she has been producing paintings of cacti and prints of plants and trees. Her paintings were displayed in the United States, Canada, Brussels, China and Ukraine.

David BURLIUK (1882 – 1967)

Burliuk was a one-eyed Ukrainian, avant-garde artist (Futurist and Neo-Primitivist), book illustrator, publicist, and author associated with Russian Futurism. From 1898 to 1904, Burliuk studied at the art schools in Kasan and in Odessa, as well as at the Royal Academy in Munich. His exuberant, extroverted character was recognized by Anton Azhbe, his professor at the Munich Acade- my, who called Burliuk a “wonderful wild steppe horse.” In 1909 Burliuk painted a portrait of his future wife, Marussia, on a back- ground of flowers and rocks on the Crimean coast. Many times thereafter he would set the image of his wife to canvas. Without question two dreams possessed his heart all his life: the face of his wife and the portrait of his homeland – first Ukraine and then his adopted country, the United States. From 1918 to 1922 he traveled to the USA via Siberia, Japan, and Canada. Burliuk died on Long Island, NY.

“Art at the Institute” is sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America.

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Memorial Concert in honor of Jaroslav Kryshtalsky

On Saturday, October 5th, 2013 a Memorial Concert was held at the Ukrainian Institute of America in honor of Jaroslav Kryshtalsky its esteemed past president. Violinists Oleh Kaskiv, Solomiya Ivakhiv, Emilie-Anne Gendron and Mario Gotoh performed, along with violist Borys Deviatov, cellist Michael Haas, pianist Mykola Sukand and bassist Ryan Kamm.

Jaroslav Kryshtalsky (1933 – 2012)

Jaroslav Kryshtalsky (1933 – 2012)

Over several decades, Jaroslav Kryshtalsky dedicated himself to supporting and leading the Ukrainian Institute of America. In addition to his active membership and generous patronage, he served on the Board of Directors and from 2005 to 2009 as President of the UIA. His leadership focused on membership, programs, fundraising, process, communication, and succession planning. An avid music lover, he was especially supportive of the “Music at the Institute” concert series as its patron and benefactor. Jaroslav Kryshtalsky was exceedingly generous with his time, talents, insights, and resources. His energy, focus, wisdom, and his presence are deeply missed.

Pianist MYKOLA SUK, the winner of the First Prize and Gold Medal at the 1971 International Liszt-Bartok Competition in Budapest, has been described by American Record Guide as “a formidable talent… with an astonishing blend of muscular power, poetry, and utter control.” His international career has spanned four continents, with performances in the most prestigious venues, from the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory to Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall. He has appeared to great critical acclaim as both soloist and chamber musician on the world’s major concert stages and at many distinguished chamber music festivals.

Violinist SOLOMIYA IVAKHIV, noted by critics for performing with “a distinctive charm and subtle profundity” (Daily Freeman), enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, North America, and China. Her national and international festival credits include Tanglewood and Embassy Series (U.S.), Musique de Chambre à Giverny (France), Prussia Cove (England), Banff Centre and Ottawa ChamberFest (Canada), Modern Music “Contrasts” and KyivFest (Ukraine), and Verbier Festival (Switzerland). She has appeared as soloist with the International Symphony, Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, Henderson Symphony, LondontowneSymphony, Orchestra of Southern Utah, and Civic Orchestra of New Haven in the U.S., and extensively in her native Ukraine with the Lviv Philharmonic, Virtuozy Lvova, and the Ukrainian National Symphony. In China, she has appeared with the Hunan Symphony Orchestra. She is Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at Ohio University.

Violinist OLEH KASKIV began his musical studies at the Lysenko Conservatory in Lviv, Ukraine. In 1996, he won a scholarship to study under the tutelage of Alberto Lysy at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland. He is now Professor of Violin at the Academy and leads the Menuhin Academy Orchestra. As a soloist, he regularly performs in his native Ukraine with the National Symphony of Ukraine, the Odessa Philharmonic, and the Lviv Philharmonic Symphony Orchestras and worldwide, with the Camerata Lysy, Camerata de Lausanne, Symphonisches Orchester Zurich, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, and the Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden.

Violinist EMILIE-ANNE GENDRON, lauded by The New York Times as a “brilliant soloist” and by France’s ClassiqueInfo for her “excellent technical mastery” and “undeniable sensitivity,” enjoys an active freelance career based in New York. A deeply committed chamber musician, she is a member of the Momenta Quartet, two-time recipient of the Koussevitzky commission grant and in its tenth year of residence at Temple University. She is also a frequent leader of the conductor-less Sejong Soloists, with which she recently recorded the Mendelssohn Octotet with Gil Shaham; a member of the Toomai String Quintet, specializing in innovative educational outreach and community engagement; and on the roster of the Marlboro Music Festival and the touring Musicians from Marlboro.

Violinist and violist MARIO GOTOH has performed as soloist and chamber musician across North America, the UK, Europe, and Asia. Her appearances at major music festivals include Festival Consonances (France), International Masterclasses Apeldoorn (Netherlands), Banff Centre (Canada), Aspen Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Music Academy of the West, Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance, International Computer Music Festival, and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts National ARTS Week. She has served as concertmaster, principal violin, and principal viola in orchestras and performs regularly with several ensembles in New York City, including the Knights, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Ballet Next.

Violist BORYS DEVIATOV is a graduate of the Lysenko Conservatory in Lviv and the winner of top prizes in viola competitions and as a conductor. As a member of the critically acclaimed Leontovych String Quartet, he performed in the major concert halls of North and South America, Europe, and the Far East and participated in many international music festivals, including Lincoln Center’s “Mostly Mozart,” Newport, and Music Mountain. He has collaborated in chamber music performances with such distinguished artists as Yuri Bashmet, Ruggiero Ricci, and Ruth Laredo, to name but a few. He is a member of the Lumina String Quartet and the New York Chamber Symphony and is principal violist of the Bachanalia Chamber Orchestra.

Cellist MICHAEL HAAS frequently performs chamber and orchestral music in New York City and across the country. He is the cellist of the Momenta Quartet, a recent winner of the prestigious Koussevitzky Music Foundation commission grant, and of Silver Roots, a trio that focuses on mixing classical music with folk and world music traditions. Most recently, he has performed at the Society for Ethical Culture, Alice Tully Hall, and The Kennedy Center. A member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, he has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Princeton Symphony.

RYAN KAMM, double bass, is an active teacher and performer, who has held positions with the Nashville Symphony, New World Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and Haddonfield Symphony. He has appeared as a substitute with the New York City Ballet Orchestra, American Ballet Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony. His festival appearances include the Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto, National Repertory Orchestra, and Kent/Blossom Chamber Festival. He is a co-director of the Preparatory Division at Bard College Conservatory of Music and teaches double bass at Bard College and the Diller Quaile School of Music in New York City.

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“Music at the Institute” was sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 East 79th Street, New York, NY

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Jazz Age at the Ukrainian Institute

The Ukrainian Institute of America roared Saturday night on September 21, 2013 as the 1920’s came to life. Amidst the Gatsby gents and Charleston ladies, who donned their party finest – adorned by feathers, boas, sequins and shimmy fringes, members and guests all enjoyed this Smashing Jazz Age Party, dancing into the early hours of the morning.

This inaugural UIA-Young Professionals Council fundraiser supported the UIA Arts Preservation Fund. Live Jazz kicked off the evening with James Sheppard and his Trio. Specialty drinks were tailored by Joios mixologists with floral and herbed notes, while fabulous music resonated through the Beaux Arts halls of the Institute. The dance floor has never been so full at such length, all night long. DJ Nick surpassed his Rose Room reputation.

Beginning with their first efforts this summer, the Young Professionals Council has presented several appealing Ukrainian Language Literary Evenings. These events focused on authors and poets of the “60-nykiv”. Revisiting the historic accounts of Ukrainian authors has heightened the interests of this group of 21-35 year old Ukrainians. Guests have listened to the poetry of Vasyl Stus and Lina Kostenko and have gained perspective into their struggles as well as an appreciation for the poetic lyrical majesty and linguistic appeal of our mother tongue.

The UIA-YP Council thrives on the participation of young Ukrainians. This cultural program provides opportunities for young American Ukrainians and Ukrainian-born citizens to mingle, share knowledge, compare educational methods and personal experiences of ‘being brought up UKRAINIAN’ on different continents. Whether to touch base with the cultural heritage of our parents, to hear our Ukrainian spoken or to just enjoy the company of a young community in many languages, this Young Professional Council is on the right track. The many formats UIA-YPC offer gives something for every young Ukrainian to enjoy.

By Chrysanna Woroch

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Art @ the Institute. Summer Art Exhibit & Sale 2013

More than one hundred people attended the opening reception of the 2013 Summer Art Exhibit and Sale at the Ukrainian Institute of America held on June 21, 2013. The exhibit featuring contemporary and 20th century art from Ukraine on display until September 6, 2013 showcases more than 50 works including oil paintings, mixed media works, photographs and sculpture by Vasyl Bazhaj, Alexis Gritchenko, Ivan Kurach, Temo Svireli and Volodymyr Zhuravel.

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Vasyl Bazhaj, born in Lviv in 1950, defined his artistic style in the late 1980s when the reins of government censorship loosened and painting provided him a venue for a furious offensive against the system. He graduated from State Institute of Applied and Decorative Art. He is head of the Conceptual Art Department at the Lviv Union of Artists along with being a member of the board of the Lviv Union of Artists, both located in Lviv, Ukraine where he lives and works.

In the 1980s, when the reins of censorship loosened (the Bolsheviks were persecuting open dissidents but had no energy to look for the “hidden” ones, the “furious youth went on offensive.” I have been gladly following the play of lights at the exhibitions of young artists and have patiently waited for the coming of a master of the highest rank, who was sure to appear in the upsurge of Ukrainian creative activity. Last year, at his personal exhibition in Kyiv, I discovered Vasyl Bazhaj. His large canvases emanated a mighty, gloomy force. His object-less compositions bore the stamp of geological or psychological shifts, struggles and strains. Like hardened lava, the fragments of pictorial forms seem to be thrown upon the canvas after melting in fire and then hardening in sullen rage into cold immobility.
Dmytro Horbachov, Kyiv, Ukraine

For some time after graduating from the Institute, Vasyl Bazhaj worked in one of Lviv’s theaters. This experience freed him from the natural fear of space, liberated his plastic thought, his artistic selection of palette. This experience was decisive in the realization of a new exhibition. The artist built it as an entirety, like a theatrical performance that takes place not only in the three dimensions of space, but also in time. Its dramatic conflict was inherent in the material itself-in the selection and disposition of the exhibits. The mighty artistic temperament sounded in the lower registers of the large canvases, on which monumental architecture continued, developed and concentrated on the intense dynamics of the main movement-struggle. On the other hand, the most subtle nuances of color sounded in diminutive form. Here a single stroke of the brush acquired utmost significance. The artist’s gift of composition was already evident in the exposition and was fully realized in the specific arrangement of each work.
Olena Ripko, Lviv, Ukraine

YoungAlexisGritchenko

Alexis Gritchenko (Ukrainian: Оле́кса Гри́щенко) (born in Krolevets, Northern Ukraine, April 2, 1883; died in Vence, France on January 28, 1977) was a Ukrainian painter and art theorist.

Gritchenko studied philology and biology at the universities of Kyiv, St Petersburg and Moscow before turning to art. He studied painting in Moscow and established close ties with the collectors Sergey Shchukin and Ivan Morozov. In 1911, he visited Paris where he became an enthusiast of modern art, especially Cubist painting. After a trip to Italy in 1913-14, he blended with his study of early Italian Renaissance painters, creating a style that brought together the cosmopolitan and urbane with the orthodoxy of the Byzantine legacy of sacred art. Gritchenko devoted his theoretical work to the subject of Byzantine art and its links with modern art, and to an analysis of the formal and stylistic properties of Byzantine painting in terms of modernist tendencies and practice. He published several books and articles, the most important of which were his studies on the icon in relation to Western art, and also took part in contemporary discussions on various aspects of modern art.

After the 1917 revolution, Gritchenko became a professor at the Free Art Studios (Svomas) in Moscow and a member of the Commission for the Preservation of Historic Monuments. In 1919, he was offered the directorship of the Tretyakov Gallery, but decided to leave Russia by way of Crimea to Constantinople, leaving all his paintings and other possessions behind in Moscow.[1] This period marked a distinctive and inspired period of watercolor.

To preserve Gritchenko’s artistic legacy, the Alexis Gritchenko Foundation was formed in New York in 1958. After the foundation was formed, Gritchenko held three more exhibits in New York and Philadelphia, the last in 1967 at the Peter Deitsch Gallery in New York. At the beginning of the sixties it was discovered that his paintings which had been in the collections of the Ukrainian Lviv Museum were destroyed as creations of “bourgeois formalism”, together with works of Alexander Archipenko, Mikhail Boichuk and Heorhiy Narbut. This caused Gritchenko to bequeath a collection of seventy works including oils, watercolors and drawings, to the Alexis Gritchenko Foundation, with the provision that they be transferred someday to the museums of a free Ukraine. The foundation and the collection were held by the Ukrainian Institute of America (UIA).

On March 26, 2006, a ceremony was held to formally transfer the Gritchenko Foundation collection to the National Art Museum of Ukraine. In addition to the 70 works of art, books, catalogues, handwritten notes and memoirs, and other archival material were included. Today, Gritchenko’s art work can be found in various museum and private collections, more than three hundred of them in the United States and Canada.

IMG_7035 Ivan Kurach (1909 – 1968) lived and studied in Italy.

Well known both in Europe and in the United States, his paintings are found in famous private collections and in museums all over the world. He spent most of his time between his studios of New York City and Milan, Italy. His work is another example of how very modern technique and sensitivity can freely fuse into the rigid rule of the most beautiful Italian pictorial tradition.

A soldier in World War II, he was a faithful interpreter of that tragic period; with gray and somber colors, with sad visions, he portrayed those days with force and meaning.

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Temo Svirely, born 1964 in Zhinvali, Republic of Georgia. Graduated from the Zhinvali Art school, the Tbilisi Academy of Fine Arts (1998-1992). Temo is a member of the International Federation of Artist of Russia (from 1993). Member of the International Federation of Artist of Georgia (from 1998). Member of BGart (from 2000). Now artist lives and works in Kiev, Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zhuravel

Volodymyr Zhuravel, born 1986 in Kremenchuk, Ukraine. Graduated from National Academy of Fine Art and Arcitecture in Ukraine, Kyiv in 2010. Designed and executed the Medal “ Person of the Year” presented by the Ukrainian Institute of America to Vitali and Volodymyr Klitschko for their boxing achievements. Designed and cast a monument dedicated to A, Kuznetsov which is installed in Kyiv, Ukraine.

“Art at the Institute” is sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America.

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Art @ the Institute. Contemporary Art from Ukraine

The Ukrainian Institute of America is pleased to present the Contemporary art from Ukraine exhibition. The exhibition opened on May 17, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America and is on display until June 16, 2013. An opening reception was held on May 17, 2013 at 6pm. More than 50 works of contemporary Ukrainian art are on display including oil paintings, mixed media works, photographs and sculpture.

bazhaj

Vasyl Bazhaj, born in Lviv in 1950, defined his artistic style in the late 1980s when the reins of government censorship loosened and painting provided him a venue for a furious offensive against the system. He graduated from State Institute of Applied and Decorative Art. He is head of the Conceptual Art Department at the Lviv Union of Artists along with being a member of the board of the Lviv Union of Artists, both located in Lviv, Ukraine where he lives and works.

Belik

Sergei Belik, born in Odessa in 1953, Belik studied art at that city’s Grekov State Art College and the Petersburg Mukhina Higher Art Institute. He became a member of the Union of Artists of Ukraine in 1987. Since then his work has been widely exhibited throughout Europe and the U.S. Belik’s art can also be found in museums in a number of cities including the Sephardic Museum in Toledo, Spain.

Svirely

Temo Svirely, born 1964 in Zhinvali, Republic of Georgia. Graduated from the Zhinvali Art school, the Tbilisi Academy of Fine Arts (1998-1992). Temo is a member of the International Federation of Artist of Russia (from 1993). Member of the International Federation of Artist of Georgia (from 1998). Member of BGart (from 2000). Now artist lives and works in Kiev, Ukraine.

Zhuravel M

Mykola Zhuravel, born in 1960 in Ukraine. Zhuravel graduated from the prestigious Kyiv State Arts Academy in 1989 and currently resides and works in Kyiv, Ukraine. The artist is a member of the National Artists’ Union of Ukraine since 1995 and the BG-ART Association, the Kyiv-based artists’ association, since 1999.

Zhuravel V

Volodymyr Zhuravel, born 1986 in Kremenchuk, Ukraine. Graduated from National Academy of Fine Art and Arcitecture in Ukraine, Kyiv in 2010. Designed and executed the Medal “ Person of the Year” presented by the Ukrainian Institute of America to Vitali and Volodymyr Klitschko for their boxing achievements. Designed and cast a monument dedicated to A, Kuznetsov which is installed in Kyiv, Ukraine.

“Art at the Institute” is sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America.

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MATI SPECIAL EVENT “RISING STARS OF TOMORROW FROM THE CURTIS OPERA THEATER”

On Sunday, April 14, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America, Music at the Institute (MATI) presented a Special Event – “RISING STARS OF TOMORROW FROM THE CURTIS OPERA THEATER.”

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world’s leading conservatories, Curtis provides its 165 students with personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. The school’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach has produced an impressive number of notable artists since its founding in 1924. Curtis’s innovative programs encourage students to perform often and hone 21st-century musical skills. Curtis’s facilities offer superb spaces for music-making, as well as state-of-the-art technologies to enhance learning. Students perform internationally with Curtis On Tour, in addition to more than 150 performances in and around Philadelphia each year. When they graduate, they become musical leaders, making a profound impact on music around the globe.

The Curtis Opera Theatre, under the artistic direction of Mikael Eliasen, works with established professional directors and designers to create fresh interpretations of standard repertoire and contemporary works. All of Curtis’s 25 voice and opera students are cast repeatedly each season, receiving a rare level of performance experience. As a result Curtis graduates have sung with opera companies all over the world, including La Scala, Covent Garden, the Vienna Staatsoper, Houston Grand Opera, the San Francisco Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera.

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Soprano ANNA DAVIDSON, from Los Angeles, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2009 and studies in the opera program with Marlena Kleinman Malas. All students at Curtis receive merit-based full-tuition scholarships, and Ms. Davidson is the Lee Shlifer Annual Fellow. For the Curtis Opera Theatre, she performed the roles of Thérèse and Son in Les mamelles de Tirésias, Sofia in Il signor Bruschino, Rooster/Jay in The Cunning Little Vixen, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Lisa in La sonnambula, and she was a member of the chorus in Idomeneo, Antony and Cleopatra and The Rake’s Progress. Her other credits include Carmen (Frasquita) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (Fortuna) for the Chautauqua Institution, and The Long Christmas Dinner (Leonora) for the Juilliard School. Ms. Davidson has also appeared as a soloist with Juilliard’s chamber ensemble Musica Sequenza and in Bachiana brasileiras No. 5 at the Chautauqua Institution. Ms. Davidson has attended the International Vocal Arts Institute, Chautauqua Institution, and University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg. In 2009 she received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Ms. Malas. In addition to music, Ms. Davidson enjoys drawing and painting.

Mezzo-soprano LAUREN PEARL EVERWEIN, from Calgary, Alberta, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2011 and studies with distinguished faculty member, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. All students at Curtis receive merit-based full-tuition scholarships and Ms. Eberwein is the Carol S. and Howard L. Lidz Fellow. With the Curtis Opera Theatre, Ms. Eberwein sang the title role in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Zweite Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. In 2011 she was a featured artist on Minnesota Public Radio’s Varsity contest. She sang Ralph Vaughan William’s Silent Noon. In 2010, she was awarded first place at the Annual Minnesota Music Teachers Association voice competition hosted by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Ms. Eberwein began piano lessons at age ten and vocal lessons at age fifteen. In the past, she has studied with Robin Helgen and Dale Kruse. In 2009, she attended the Eastman School of Music Summer Institute. Ms. Eberwein has been a member of the Minnesota Opera’s Project Opera Chorus. In 2011, she was awarded an apprenticeship and she sang the role of Mother in Hanz Werner Henze’s Pollicino as part of the Minnesota Opera’s Project Opera. When not performing, Ms. Eberwein enjoys the outdoors and pursues a life of exploration and joy. In the future, she hopes to travel and experience various cultures around the world.

Tenor CHRISTOPHER TIESI, from Sarasota, Fla., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2009 and studies in the opera program with Marlena Kleinman Malas. All students at Curtis receive merit-based full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Tiesi is the Lelia A. Wike Fellow. For the Curtis Opera Theatre, he has performed the roles of Florville and Bruschino junior in Il signor Bruschino, Lacouf and Journalist in Les mamelles de Tirésias, Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra, Elvino in La sonnambula, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, and he was a member of the chorus in The Cunning Little Vixen. Mr. Tiesi was a Philadelphia District winner in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In 2009 he performed in the New York Festival of Song with Steven Blier. He attended the Chautauqua Institution from 2005 to 2009. Mr. Tiesi began singing at eight years old as a boy soprano. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School, where his credits included Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (Rinuccio) and Aaron Copland’s Tender Land (Martin).

Baritone JAMEZ McCORKLE, from New Orleans, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2012 and studies with Ruth Falcon. All students at Curtis receive merit-based full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. McCorkle is the Florence Kirk Keppel Fellow. Mr. McCorkle began piano lessons at age four and voice lessons at age seventeen. Prior to attending Curtis, he attended Mannes College The New School for Music and Loyola University New Orleans. He has also attended several summer programs, including I Sing Beijing, Houston Grand Opera Young Artists’ Vocal Academy, The Music Academy of the West, and the International Vocal Arts Institute. Mr. McCorkle has won top awards in several competitions, including the 2012 National Opera Association Vocal Competition (second place), the 2011 Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Competition (finalist), the 2011 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition (semi-finalist), the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Gulf Coast Region (second place), and the 2010 S. Livingston Mather Scholarship Competition (first place). Mr. McCorkle has performed in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (Betto) at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel, Les mamelles de Tirésias (le directeur) at Loyola University, and Il barbiere di Siviglia (Fiorello) at the Music Academy of the West. Mr. McCorkel has studied with Phillis Treigle, Kristen Marchiafava, Philip Frohnmayer, and Ruth Falcon. In his spare time, he enjoys playing piano and real-time strategy online gaming.

Pianist REESE REVAK holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition with a concentration in Piano from Temple University. More recently, he has continued his studies at Temple, with graduate work in Piano Accompanying and Opera Coaching. As an accompanist, Mr. Revak has served as music director for the Amici Opera company in addition to engagements with the International Opera Theater in Umbria, Italy, and the International Institute of Vocal Arts in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Currently, Reese Revak works as an accompanist in the vocal department at the Curtis Institute of Music and is also freelance accompanist and opera coach in the Philadelphia region. He aspires someday to be on the coaching staff of a major opera house.

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

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MATI “LYATOSHYNSKY AND SHOSTAKOVICH: SYMBOLISM IN EASTERN EUROPE”

On Saturday, April 6, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America, Music at the Institute (MATI) presented “LYATOSHYNSKY AND SHOSTAKOVICH: SYMBOLISM IN EASTERN EUROPE.” The concert showcased Lucy Shelton, soprano; Solomiya Ivakhiv, violin; YI Chun Chen, cello and Angelina Gadeliya, piano.

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The only artist to receive the International Walter W. Naumburg Award twice, as a soloist and as a chamber musician, soprano LUCY SHELTON has performed repertoire from Bach to Boulez in major recital, chamber, and orchestral venues throughout the world. Highly acclaimed as an interpreter of new music, Ms Shelton continues to bring new audiences into the sound world of new works, often composed for her. A native Californian, her musical training began early with the study of both piano and flute. After graduating from Pomona College, she pursued singing at the New England Conservatory and at the Aspen Music School, where she studied with Jan de Gaetani. Lucy Shelton has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the Eastman School. She is currently on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center and coaches privately at her studio in New York City. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, KOCH International, Bridge Records, Unicorn-Kanchana, and Virgin Classics.

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Violinist SOLOMIYA IVAKHIV has quickly earned a reputation for performing with “a distinctive charm and subtle profundity” (Daily Freeman) and has embarked on an international career that has included performances in concert halls throughout Europe, North America, and China. Born in Ukraine, she made her debut with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of thirteen and has won top prizes in numerous competitions, including the Sergei Prokofiev and the Yaroslav Kocian International Competitions, and the Fritz Kreisler Charles Miller Award from the Curtis Institute of Music. Ms Ivakhiv has performed at major festivals, including Steamboat Springs, Musique de Chambre à Giverny in France, Prussia Cove in England, Tanglewood, Ottawa ChamberFest, Bach Festival, Holland Music Festival, Verbier in Switzerland, Normandy Chamber Music Festival, “Virtuozy,” KyivFest, and the “Contrast” Festival of Modern Music in Ukraine. 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, Gary Graffman, and Steven Isserlis. An avid proponent of modern music, she premiered the Violin Concerto No. 2 by Ukrainian composer Yevhen Stankovych, “Three Songs for Henie” written for her by American composer Eli Marshall, and has recorded original music by Philadelphia-based composer David Ludwig. Solomiya 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. She is the Artistic Director of the “Music at the Institute” Concert Series (MATI).

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Cellist YI-CHUN CHEN, a native of Taichung, Taiwan, won the Taichung City Cello Competition in both the children and junior divisions for four consecutive years. She was also the winner of the Taiwan cello competition in 1994 and 1996 as a representative of Taichung city. In 1998, at the age of fifteen, she entered the Curtis Institute of Music in the U.S., where she studied with David Soyer, the renowned founding cellist of the Guarneri Quartet. Under his tutelage, she developed a great interest in chamber music and took part in the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival from 1999 to 2001 with the support of the Gerald F. Warburg Cello Scholarship. She went on to pursue her master’s degree at Boston University. In 2004 she joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic and that same year was awarded the “Talent in Art” Scholarship from the Chi Mei Foundation and the “New Rising Artist in Music” in Taiwan. Chen also has abundant orchestral experience. She was principal cellist of the Taiwan Youth Orchestra in 1994-1996. In 1997 she won the Vigor International Corporation Scholarship, which allowed her to take part in the Asian Youth Orchestra tour with Yo-Yo Ma in Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. In 1999 she toured Europe with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra under conductor Andre Previn and with violinist Anne Sophie Mutter. Chen was a member of Haddonfield Symphony in 2001 and 2002. She was principal cellist of the Boston University Orchestra in 2003 and was also appointed acting principal of Hingham Symphony that same year. In 2004 she took part in the Pacific Music Festival in Japan.

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Born in Sukhumi, Georgia, Ukrainian pianist ANGELINA GADELIYA has performed widely as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the United States, as well as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Israel, and Ukraine. She completed three seasons with the prestigious Ensemble ACJW, and as a fellow in the Academy–a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute–was actively involved in educational outreach in New York City, and performed regularly at Carnegie Hall, as well as at the Juilliard School. She and her colleagues from the Academy have formed a new ensemble, The Declassified, an exciting new collective seeking to reinvigorate the world of classical music through revelatory audience engagement, community outreach, and innovative programming. Ms Gadeliya has participated in highly acclaimed residencies with the ensemble at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival, and at Princeton University. She has appeared as soloist with the Sinfonia of Colorado, the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, as well as with the Fort Worth, South Dakota, Oberlin, and Stony Brook symphonies. In 2007, she was invited to perform as part of Carnegie Hall’s Discovery Day for the Emerson String Quartet’s Beethoven Project, as well as the Mahler Symphonies Project in 2009. Twice a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, she has collaborated with such artists as Lucy Shelton, James Conlon, Solomiya Ivakhiv, Thomas Ades, David Stern, Andrew Manze, John Adams, Steve Reich, members of the New York Philharmonic, and the internationally acclaimed Mark Morris Dance Group. Her recent performances include solo and chamber music recitals in such venues as New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, the Consulate of France, the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago, the New York Historical Society, and the German Consulate; and at such festivals as the Bach Festival of Philadelphia, the Beethoven Master Course in Positano, Italy, the Reynosa International Piano Festival in Mexico, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and David Dubal’s “Chopin and Schumann at 200” lecture series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since the summer of 2009, Ms Gadeliya has served as a faculty member at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel. She is currently a faculty member at the Colorado Springs Conservatory of Music.

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

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MATI SPECIAL EVENT “MYROSLAV SKORYK: COMPLETE WORKS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO CD RELEASE.”

On Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America, Music at the Institute (MATI) presented a Special Event “Myroslav Skoryk: complete works for violin and piana CD release.” The concert showcased Solomia Soroka, violin and Arthur Greene, piano.

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Violinist SOLOMIA SOROKA, born in Lviv, Ukraine, is among the most accomplished Ukrainian musicians of her generation. She won top prizes in three international violin competitions held in the former Soviet Union – the Prokofiev, Lysenko, and Zolota Osin competitions. Ms Soroka earned her master’s degree summa cum laude and completed postgraduate studies at the Kyiv Conservatory, and later served on its faculty in the chamber music department. She also has a D.M.A. degree from the Eastman School of Music. Solomia Soroka made her solo debut at age 10, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, and has since appeared as soloist with that orchestra on numerous occasions. She has performed with the National Symphony of Ukraine and other orchestras in Ukraine, Australia, and the United States. Praised for playing “with great warmth and authority” (BBC Music Magazine), she has performed as soloist and as chamber musician at concerts and festivals in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, USA, Canada, China, and Taiwan. She has premiered a number of important contemporary Ukrainian compositions for violin, including works by Borys Lyatoshynsky, Myroslav Skoryk, and Yevhen Stankovych. Since her American debut in 1997, she has performed throughout the U.S. In a review of her recital in Washington, D.C. as part of the Smithsonian Institute performing arts series, The Washington Post described her as “a superbly equipped violinist… Her tone is warm and mellow on the low strings, brilliant on the high strings, perfectly controlled and expressively used.” Solomia Soroka has toured and recorded extensively with her husband, the American pianist Arthur Greene. Their Naxos recording of Four Violin Sonatas by William Bolcom was selected as a Recording of the Month with the highest ranking for both artistry and sound quality by Classics Today, and was hailed as “Another virtuoso piece…confidently delivered by this brilliant duo” (Gramophone). And their recording of the violin sonatas of Nikolai Roslavets, also for Naxos, has received international attention: “Soroka seemed utterly confident, catching a haunting, languid quality within Roslavets’s elusive harmonic idiom……” (The Strad). In the past two years Ms Soroka has been recording for Toccata Records, based in London. Her two premier recordings, the violin/piano music by forgotten American violinist Arthur Hartmann and the music by Holocaust composer Leone Sinigaglia, were released in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Solomia Soroka is currently a professor of violin at Goshen College, Indiana. She studied with Hersh Heifetz, Bohodar Kotorovych, Liudmyla Zvirko, and Charles Castleman.

Pianist ARTHUR GREENE’s dynamic and personal performances have won him acclaim in concert halls and competitions throughout the world. “A profound musician” (The Washington Post); “A masterful pianist (The New York Times); “Intoxicating appeal” (Mainichi Daily News, Japan); “A romantic splendor of sound-colors” (Ruhr Nachrichten); “Stellar Scriabinist” (American Record Guide) – these are but a few of the press accolades garnered by Arthur Greene. He is the winner of gold medals in the William Kapell and Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions. Arthur Greene has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Czech National Symphony, the Tokyo Symphony, the National Symphony of Ukraine, and many others. He has played recitals in Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Moscow Rachmaninov Hall, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Lisbon Sao Paulo Opera House, Hong Kong City Hall, and concert houses in Shanghai and Beijing. He has toured Japan 12 times. Mr. Greene was an Artistic Ambassador to Serbia, Kosovo, and Bosnia for the United States Information Agency. Arthur Greene has performed the complete solo piano works of Johannes Brahms in a series of six programs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. He has performed the 10 Sonata Cycle of Alexander Scriabin in Sofia, Kyiv, Salt Lake City, and other venues. His recording of these 10 Sonatas will be released in 2013. He has recorded the Complete Etudes of Scriabin for Supraphon. He has recorded the Violin-Piano Sonatas of William Bolcom and Nikolai Roslavets on two discs for Naxos, and the Violin-Piano music of Myroslav Skoryk, with his wife, the violinist Solomia Soroka. Mr. Greene received degrees from Yale University and Juilliard, and studied with Martin Canin. He is the Professor of Piano at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

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

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Art @ the Institute, Exhibit Art-Nature-Art by Ron Kostuniuk

The Ukrainian Institute of America was pleased to present the constructivist art exhibition “Ron Kostyniuk: Art-Nature-Art”, which originated at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago under the title Ron Kostyniuk: Construction-neo-Construction and subsequently traveled to the Ukrainian Museum in New York under the title Ron Kostyniuk: Art as Nature Analogue. The exhibition opened on March 22, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America and is on display till April 7, 2013.

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Ron Kostyniuk is a professor of Fine Art at the University of Calgary, where he has taught for over forty years. With nature as his source of inspiration, Canadian artist Ron Kostyniuk has been creating unique constructed relief sculptures since the 1960s. His work has been widely exhibited and is included in many private and museum collections in Canada. This exhibition features 28 sculptures created between 1967 and 2009 derived both from Kostyniuk’s fascination with biology and study of natural forms and from his interest in the work of modernist and constructivist artists such as Pablo Picasso, Alexander Archipenko, Charles Biederman, Naum Gabo, and Vladimir Tatlin.

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My artwork subscribes to the utilization of geometrical form and to the articulation of space trough planar analysis…….I am very cognizant of the actual structuring processes – processes of morphogenesis that operate in nature as formative elements of space in specific cellular combinations. These unique natural systems, however, are not translated in my work into any form of replication, rather they are utilized as a source for metaphoric transposition into an art of geometric form and color interaction as a parallel to nature’s creative rhythms in their manifest splendor. In its most profound sense, the creation of art is a celebration of life. It is a celebration of life in that art is a creation about a creation – analogue to those processes that are found to be operative in nature – as a reflection of and as a reaffirmation of the spirit of man in communion with nature. Providing for a sense of identification with the universe, art embellishes, enriches and nourishes the human spirit. In all aspects art gives life to the imagination, a tactility to the mind’s eye and concrete form to abstract thought. Through the creative process, art externalizes the human spirit, transcends the mundane and lends playful exuberance to man’s perception of color/form/space/light/time in metaphoric transposition. Having originated with the first crystallizations of human experience of primeval man, art has operated as a culmination of the genetic pool of creative consciousness in communion with nature. As such, it is the conduit by which the artist relates to his past, attempts to understand his present and aspires to the future. In its most essential form, art strives to expose the mystery of being and functions as a bridge between man’s intellect and his soul. And like the old wizard moon orchestrating a soft ballet of moonbeams on a silver lake, the artist provides the guiding touch to much of this venture. As the pinnacle of this creative activity, the artist provides the heartbeat, the creative impulse that is the talent that inspires others in this celebration by providing the theatre stage on which one can dance. As the artist creates, so does the viewer in a symbolic relationship of the highest order. Engendered in all of mankind is a creative spirit – everyone dances when one dances, everyone sings when one sings and everyone sculpts when one sculpts. This is a creative journey that by necessity the artist cannot live without. It is a journey that everyone expects the artist to exercise with his most committed being and with the greatest integrity that the artist can muster. The artist’s vision is unique and as he dances omn this earth, his reflection shall register in the infinite meadow of the heavens, like blossoming stars, Longfellow’s “forget-me-nots of the angels.” This creative drive is a great tribute to the human spirit resulting in an activity whose resultant entity sings sweet like visual music for the mind of man and for the soul of mankind. Hopefully this is the “song” of my art.

Ron Kostyniuk

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“Art @ the Institute” was sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075

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