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Sächsischer Musikbund in cooperation with Kyiv Contemporary Music Days

For many, Ukraine remains a white spot on the mental map of Europe, despite 20 months of Russian full-scale invasion. Sadly, many now associate Ukraine with war only. Bridging this gap, The Study of White brings the latest music from Ukraine and beyond to Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz.

The series of concerts and conversations by Ukrainian violinist Orest Smovzh presents a rarely-heard and diverse programme featuring pieces by Kalle Autio (FI), Christian Diemer (DE), Matthias Drude (DE), Maxim Kolomiiets (UA), Anton Koshelev (UA), Boris Loginov (UA), Adrian Mocanu (UA), Andrew Norman (US), Meiko Shiomi (JP), Yana Shliabanska (UA), Jasmine Thomasian (US), Serhii Vilka (UA), and Vitaliy Vyshynsky (UA).

With its title referring to a seminal work by Salvatore Sciarrino, The Study of White began in December 2021 as a series of chamber concerts by Kyiv Contemporary Music Days (KCMD), one of Ukraine’s most dynamic new music organisations. The concerts turned out to be KCMD’s last events to be held in Kyiv before the all-out war started.  

An essential part of the Kyiv concerts were podcast-style conversations that served to elucidate the context of the music being performed. KCMD, this time in collaboration with Sächsischer Musikbund, is extending this format to the German audience. The Study of White concerts will be moderated and followed by open conversations between the audience, soloist Orest Smovzh, Leipzig composer and Ukraine expatriate Christian Diemer, and members of the KCMD team. 



Ukrainian-born violinist Orest Smovzh is taking most interest in artistic collaborations, recital repertoire, creating unusual programs, and solo violin performances. In addition to performing - Orest is dedicated to organizing festivals, promoting contemporary music, and historically informed performance. For the last few years, he works under the mentorship of Midori.

Orest’s repertoire spans over 800 years starting with medieval estampie and renaissance diminutions and ending with he most recent music. He performed numerous world and local premiers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and over the last 15 years Orest commissioned or premiered a majority of the most important Ukrainian contemporary works for violin.

He was a co-founder of Dzenzelivka Classical Week – the first Ukrainian chamber music festival in a village; Collegium Musicum Lviv - one of the most vibrant concert organizations of Ukraine; Melaka Classics – an innovative project in Malaysia, as well as a member of Kyiv Contemporary Music Days. Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Orest constantly performed in such cities as Lviv, Kyiv and Kharkiv among others.

Orest collaborated in chamber performances with the members of Orchestre des Champs- Élysées, Suntory Hall Chamber Music Academy, pianists Thomas Hoppe, Albert Tiu, Fazıl Say, cellist Michael Kannen, violinist Vadim Gluzman. He recently received most memorable coachings from pianists Ferenc Rados, Leon Fleisher, Jeffrey Kahane, Ellen Mack, conductor Gyorgy Takacs-Nagy, baritone Thomas Hampson and lute player Nigel North. As a soloist, he took part in historically informed performances with Masaaki Suzuki in Singapore and USC Baroque Sinfonia in Los Angeles, as well as participated in several outreach projects in Mexico, USA, and Japan.

Winner of 2015 Tadeusz Wroński Violin Solo Competition and the finalist of 2018 George Enescu Violin Competition, Orest has performed on instruments by Guarneri del Gesù, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, and others, loaned by late Mr. Rin Kei Mei and private collections. He appeared as a soloist with George Enescu Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Yamagata Symphony Orchestra, Uzbekistan National Symphony Orchestra, Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra, Odesa Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ukrainian Festival Orchestra, in such iconic halls as Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Hitachi Systems Hall in Sendai among others. His performances were broadcasted by Medici, Danish Broadcast Corporation, Kol Ha Musica, WXQR, Lithuanian National Radio and Television, and The National Radio Company of Ukraine.

Orest holds degrees from National Music Academy of Ukraine in Kyiv, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore, USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, and Peabody Institute in Baltimore, where he studied with Yaroslava Rivnyak, Dmytro Tkachenko, Qian Zhou, Midori, and participated in masterclasses by Vadym Repin, Ilya Gringolts, Ivry Gitlis, Pierre Amoyal, Nam Yun Kim, Pinchas Zukerman, Petru Munteanu, Kszysztof Węgrzyn, and David Takeno. 


30 October, 19:30

Municipal Library Leipzig

Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz 10-11, 04107 Leipzig

The admission to the event is free.

1 November, 19:00

DenkRaum Sophienkirche

Sophienstraße 2, 01067 Dresden

Admission is free but the audience is encouraged to pre-register for the event by filling out this Form.

2 November, 19:30

Morgner Archiv Galerie

Agricolastraße 25, 09112 Chemnitz

The admission fee can be paid in cash on the spot at the location right before the concert.


The programme is a coproduction of Sächsischer Musikbund and Kyiv Contemporary Music Days. 

Funded by

Stadt Leipzig, Stadt Chemnitz, Stadt Dresden, Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen, with the kind support of Stadtbibliothek Leipzig, DenkRaum Sophienkirche Dresden, and Morgner Archiv Chemnitz.