On 1 July, 20:00, at Villa Elisabeth, Kyiv Contemporary Music Days in collaboration with Ensemble KNM Berlin present a concert of new music by Ukrainian and other European composers featuring the Kyiv-based soloist Nazarii Stets (double bass) with conductor Stephan Winkler.
The program includes ensemble and solo works by acclaimed composers Rebecca Saunders, Clemens Gadenstätter, and Kaija Saariaho, as well as younger artists Anna Korsun, Anna Arkushyna, Anton Koshelev, and Adrian Mocanu. The concert highlights bass instruments—double bass and contrabass clarinet—to explore the differences in their perception as solo instruments and their interaction with the ensemble.
The Ukrainian composers featured in the program belong to the new generation of Ukrainian classical musicians and represent what is commonly known as the Maidan generation. The Revolution of Dignity, or Euromaidan, which took place in Ukraine in 2013–2014, brought about radical political and social changes in the country but also gave a boost to cultural initiatives, both state-funded and grassroots. Kyiv Contemporary Music Days is one of such self-organized initiatives that emerged in the wake of Maidan in 2015. By presenting works of Ukrainian composers created between 2014 and 2022, we wish to show the diverse trajectories the Ukrainian new music has taken during this turbulent yet incredibly fertile period.
The event’s name, “...So They Grow Like Sunflowers,” comes from the title of an ensemble piece by Anna Arkushyna to be performed at the concert. It is a reference to a phrase that a Ukrainian woman in Kherson addressed to a Russian soldier during the first days of the full-scale invasion: “Take these seeds and put them in your pockets, so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here.” The phrase went viral thanks in no small part to the fact that the sunflower is considered by many Ukrainians a symbol of their national identity.
The concert title reflects both the macabre side of the ongoing war waged by Russia in Ukraine and a hope that the seeds planted since the Revolution of Dignity, whose flowers this concert showcases, will prevail and bear fruit in the peaceful Europe of tomorrow.
The concert will take place on 1 July 2023, at 20:00 at Villa Elisabeth. It will be preceded by listening cities : kyiv, a multimedia project by KNM Berlin, at 18:30.
The event is a cooperation between Kyiv Contemporary Music Days, Ensemble KNM Berlin, and Kultur Büro Elisabeth.
Friendly guidance and advice by Goethe-Institut.