This spring, Kharkiv welcomes locals and tourists to its Music Fest, which promises to open eyes on classical music and show how different it can be. If you still consider that classical music is sleep-inducing, this event might change your mind for good. Performed as a comedy musical or live in malls, at markets, at the airport, train stations or even in the subway, music will fill the streets of Kharkiv, as well as listeners' hearts.
From March 14 to 29, Kharkiv hosts KharkivMusicFest, which is essentially 7 concerts performed in 3 concert halls. The program includes symphonic works of Ukrainian, European, American composers performed by the world-class soloists and conductors from Austria, Germany, Poland, the USA and Ukraine - from Lviv, Kyiv, Dnipro, Odesa and Kharkiv.
Besides, KharkivMusicFest is also a series of special projects: from celebration of 333 years since Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday to "Art & Piano" — an installation of pianos, decorated by local artists and designers. Let's see in detail about those. Bach-333 promises various events dedicated to the famous composer — 'Open Bach piano', where professional musicians, amateurs and local music bands will perform the well-known pieces; the world-wide "Bach in Subways" initiative, supported by Kharkiv's metro; numerous tourist routes and excursions dubbed "Bach in Kharkiv", and, of course, music of the German composer in dozens of cafes and restaurants.
Inspired by the world-renowned and successful "Play me, I'm yours" and "Sing for Hope" projects, KharkivMusicFest presents its own project — "Art & Piano: Play brightly". During the festival, 9 pianos, donated by locals and decorated by well-known Kharkiv artists will be located in different spots in the city. The start of this unique project will take place just before the opening concert on March 14: all pianos will sound simultaneously at the Kharkiv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. Every passer-by will have an opportunity to boast their music skills, as these pianos will be opened for public to play. After the festival ends, the instruments will be donated to children's educational and cultural institutions.
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All the events of KharkivMusicFest have an underlying message: classical music is not an element of the elite world; it's not made only for grandiose holidays, but for the daily life with its highs and lows. KharkivMusicFest is the initiative of the world-renown classical music star, conductor and pianist, Stanislav Khristenko. The winner of the prestigious title Steinway Artist and the owner of numerous awards presents his hometown in almost a two-weekly marathon to kindle the love for classical music.
March 14, 7 P.M.
"From the New World" opening concert, Kharkiv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
World-renown pianist Serhii Babaian, who has been living in the USA for more than 25 years, will perform the pieces from the famous composers who have Eastern European roots and spent part of their lives in the US.
In the programme: Leonard Bernstein. Candide Overture
Sergei Rachmaninoff. Piano concert №3, op.30
Antonín Dvořák. Symphony No.9, "From the New World"
March 17, 7 P.M.
"Хвилина Реклами" / "Advertisement minute" concert, Kharkiv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
The Richochet ensemble will perform pieces, written by renowned academic composers to present various Ukrainian and foreign products in a manner of avant-garde commercial.
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March 20, 7 P.M.
Igudesman & Joo: UpBeat, Kharkiv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
An epic duo of comprising classical musicians Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo will show the audience that classical music is far from boring. Imagine Mozart played in 'fast rewind' mode, famous Turkish March re-imagined in major, and Vivaldi, Bach and Rachmaninoff influenced by the Beatles: that's Igudesman & Joo, by the way, beloved by John Malkovich.
March 21, 7 P.M.
Bach@333, Kharkiv Filarmoniya
March 21 marks 333 years since Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday, and thus is a perfect date for the huge concert: 20 best musicians of the country will unite to revive music of the most prominent representative of European musical culture. Besides, on this day Kharkiv will become the first Ukrainian city to take part in the "Bach in Subways" initiative.
March 25, 7 P.M.
Bach to Now, Kharkiv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
Ukrainian premiere of the Concert for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 (2003) by the famous Scottish composer James McMillan. Here, 3 concerts for piano and orchestra will present the fusion and contrast of Bach and music of the 21-st century. Nothing can symbolize contemporary music better than Nova Sinfonietta — the world's first orchestra that plays exclusively with the help of tablets, without the use of printed notes.
March 27, 7 P.M.
Myroslav Skoryk in Jazz, Kharkiv Filarmoniya
The famous classical composer Myroslav Skoryk united classical traditions with jazz rhythms. This program will break down the stereotypes about the composers, as well as patterns of academic music.
March 29, 7 P.M.
European Féerie closing concert, Kharkiv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
This concert will mark the ending of KharkivMusicFest with the works of prominent Ukrainian and Polish composers of 19, 20 and 21-st centuries. Outstanding Polish conductor Tomasz Bugaj and the Kharkiv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre symphonic orchestra will perform energetic and optimistic classical pieces.
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In the programme:
Yevhen Stankovych. Concerto for viola with orchestra No. 2
Frédéric Chopin. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in F Minor
Witold Lutoslawski. Concerto For Orchestra
Tickets for the events can be bought at kontramarka.ua; prices range from UAH 70 to UAH 1000. You can find more details on the KharkivMusicFest Facebook page and on the web-site.
Photo sources: shutterstock.com, ГО День Музики Facebook page. All images belong to their rightful authors.