New Grieg Society in Ukraine
The inauguration of the new Ukrainian Edvard Grieg Society took place on May 4th and 5th 2016 in Zhytomyr. The opening concert was held in the beautifully refurbished Philharmonic hall, with introductory speeches from the Vice-principal of the Kosenko Music College, Anna Brodska; the Norwegian ambassador, Jon Elveland Fredriksen; and Beryl Foster, Vice-President of the International Grieg Society. Professsor Helmut Loos, leader of the Grieg Begegnungsstätte in Leipzig was also present, and greetings from Sylvia Eckes, President of the IGS, and other Grieg Societies were read out.
The concert opened with the Overture to Mykola Lysenko’s opera Taras Bulba, played by the college’s Folk Orchestra (from the class of Oleksandr Klymenko), conducted by Yevgen Shestakov. They then accompanied the first movement of Grieg’s Piano Concerto, in which the excellent soloist was Mykola Sych, a first-year student at the college.
After the interval, the college’s Symphony Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Oleksandr Chemerys, performed the scenes from Grieg’s unfinished opera, Olav Trygvason. The soloists Yevgeniya Gintovt (mezzo), Tetiana Golovina (contralto) and Oleg Synytsia (bass-baritone) gave spirited performances, in particular Ms Golovina in the difficult part of the Sibyl.
The following day an International Research Conference was held in the concert hall of the Kosenko Music College, one of the oldest musical institutions in Ukraine. Papers were given by professors and postgraduate students from Germany, Great Britain and Poland, as well as from Ukraine. Topics ranged from overviews of Edvard Grieg and Leipzig, the place of Grieg’s vocal music and Olav Trygvason, to discussions of the music of Ukrainian composers and national styles.
The whole event was the idea of Liubov Syniak, a teacher at the Kosenko Music College and now President of the Ukrainian Grieg Society, supported by the Principal and staff, whose enthusiasm and hard work was rewarded by the success of the occasion. In the words of the Norwegian ambassador, “this is not just for Grieg, but also for Ukraine”.
We wish the new society all success and look forward to further collaboration.