The Kiev Symphony Orchestra kicks off the tour in Germany

joy and pain

With all the anticipation of concerts at the Kulturpalast in Dresden, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and other stations – violinist Elisaweta Saitsewa says what all the members of the orchestra are probably thinking now:

I feel a great joy that I can be there, but of course a great pain as well. Because I would rather not do this tournament because of this war. I feel even more the great responsibility to present Ukraine in a dignified manner.


Elizaveta Saitseva, violinist of the Kiev Symphony Orchestra

The young woman is convinced that her country needs a strong presence on the world stage in various fields of art right now. Saitsewa’s parents were already employed in the symphony orchestra and her twin sister is also on the way to making music her professional purpose in life. However, at the moment it can not be just about musical and artistic content, but the political message should be in the foreground. Luigi Gaggero, chief conductor of the orchestra since 2018, has a similar view:

The whole tournament has a strong symbolic meaning, of course, but also a spiritual meaning. Especially in such a tragic situation, the role of art and music is crucial.


Luigi Gaggero, chief conductor of the Kiev Symphony Orchestra

The Italian is known throughout Europe for his versatile combination of old and new music and has also played cymbals and drums for years. He points out another reason for this very important concert tour for him and the orchestra:

“One of the starting points of this war is that Putin said that Ukraine basically does not exist. But if you know art, history and music, you can see that this repertoire has its own identity and that there are also many points of contact with the repertoire. “European – much more than one might think. In interpretation we try to emphasize this.”

Concert tours to enrich Europe

The program of the concert tour in seven German cities includes works by Maxim Berezovsky (1745-1777), Myroslav Skoryk (1938-2020) and Borys Ljatoschynskyj (1894-1968) in addition to the famous “Poème” by the French composer Ernest Chausson (1855-1899). ).

Elisaveta Saitsewa sees this tour, for which the symphony orchestra could rehearse extensively in Warsaw, as a good opportunity to introduce to a wider audience Ukrainian composers who were previously almost unknown in Western Europe. “We really have a very rich and very beautiful classical music culture. I think this concert tour will be very enriching for the cultural life of German, Polish and Western Europe in general.”

She is currently completing her master studies in violin in Nuremberg. For them and for Italian maestro Gaggero, a united and open Europe has long been a natural issue that Putin’s war is now questioning and destroying. Gaggero explains what connects them: “I grew up in Italy, I studied in Germany and I teach in France, I can bring these experiences with me to Kiev.

But at the same time I learn a lot from the musicians of this orchestra in every rehearsal, in every concert, human qualities above all! I think it is a good image for Europe. Each country brings something that other countries do not have. “But the house we build together is the same house.”

European values ​​should not be questioned

At the moment, however, a house that is again in so great danger that until recently it could not be imagined. That’s why Luigi Gaggero and Elisaweta Saitsewa – despite the expectations for this tournament – are already thinking about the future. The chief conductor can not imagine sending the musicians, who are traveling only with the express permission of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defense, to the place destroyed by the war before the end of the war.

However, violinist Saitseva, who until recently was still hoping for a position in a German orchestra, emphasizes her awareness of being a Ukrainian: “Ukraine now needs a lot of young musicians who have experience from Western orchestras. Maybe I’ll come back. After studying, Ukraine will take a permanent position in a Kiev orchestra, because I want to contribute as much as possible to the strengthening of our culture. However difficult the circumstances will be in my city bombed with destroyed theaters. to support Ukrainian culture. ”

Tournament dates:
25.5. Dresden Palace of Culture
26.4. Gewandhaus in Leipzig
27.4. Berlin Philharmonic
28.4. Kurhaus Wiesbaden
29.4. Freiburg Concert Hall
30.4. Dome Hall Hanover
1.5. Hamburg Elbphilharmonie

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