Modernisation or burnt ground, what awaits Donetsk Oblast

Donetsk oblast, until recently, has been a region that developed rapidly – a good investment climate, a sport capital, socially responsible business and resonant cultural events – this is what the land was associated with in the thoughts of Ukrainians. Numerous state and nongovernment programs were planned for the following years (infrastructure projects, development of civil society, scheduled sporting competitions on a continental scale). However life has added its correctives. Already the region has decided against a number of projects. At the moment they are not talking about the development of Donetsk oblast, but simply the retention of its livelihood and at least some economical attractiveness. 
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Ukrainian Writers Protest Against Concert of Moscow Virtuosi Scheduled in Kyiv

Boycott_rusiaMay 29, 2014

Addressed to:
V. Nalyvaichenko, Head of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)
A. Deshchytsia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
Ye. Nyshchuk, Minister of Culture of Ukraine

According to Afisha-Kyiv site, a concert of the Moscow Virtuosi and its Maestro, Vladimir Spivakov will be held at the National Opera of Ukraine. As stated in the advertisement, the organizer of the concert seems to be Inter-Classic (tel: 228 -55- 66), tickets cost from 250 to 3650 UAH (!) each.  There is an especially interesting announcement note: the concert was postponed from February 23 to June 19. Continue reading

Finnish Violinist and Conductor Writes Open Letter to Artists That Support Putin’s Actions

Open letter from Dalia Stasevska, violinist and conductor



On 11th of March, on the internet page of Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, a controversial statement signed by Valery Gergiev, Yuri Bashmet, Denis Matsuev and 508 additional Russian artists was published. Many famous musicians and other representatives of Russian artists’ community thus announced their direct “support for the position of President of the Russian Federation regarding Ukraine and Crimea”. Because of this, I am directly forced to announce my shock, dismay and disagreement with that particular statement.

Dmitri Shostakovich is widely known as something of an archetype about artist’s ambivalent role in a dictatorship. Although he publicly supported the politics of Stalin’s regime, he later claimed having encountered ‘inner resistance’ against the system all those years. Is this the role of you have taken too, Mr. Gergiev and other signatories? Or is your statement only sheer opportunism? Because I can’t find any reasonable justification for your “message”.

Dear Mr. Gergiev and signatories, you stated: “Our common history, our cultural roots and spiritual origins, our fundamental values and language have united us [Ukrainians and Russians] forever. We want to see the commonality of our peoples and our cultures have a strong future.” As far as I know, you should be very familiar with European musical and art tradition. You all have played and worked more than once with different people from different cultural backgrounds and minorities. Therefore, I am really surprised about your ignorance on the fundamental democratic European convictions in your statement. To remind you once again, the policy of “one nation, one empire, one ruler” has been entirely passé almost for the last 70 years. It makes me wonder how you, artists with diverse ethnic backgrounds – who are achieving your success in art and music only by peaceful work and communication with other nationalities – can support a regime that is drawing new geographical lines on a false pretext of “securing Russian people and language” and threatens to use civilians of neighbouring country as a human shield (Putin’s speech on 4th of May) in order to strengthen the suppressive power of Kremlin and by putting their own nation above the others; support authority that violates human rights and uses military aggression as its preferred tool? By signing this support statement, are you going to take the responsibility for the violent actions, carried out by the Russian forces, if they are targeted against your foreign colleagues?

Instead of supporting anti-humane and militant policies we, the musicians and artists, have the responsibility to fight for humanity. Our profession arises from a spiritual source inside us, making us compassionate and able to love everything living. There is so much beauty around us, that we can’t maybe sense clearly as often as necessary – maybe that is why we need an artists to remind us about basic human rights. I invite all the musicians and artists to use all their possible power to overcome the hatred and false emotions towards each other, to stop dictators, stop ignoring international law and its obligations as well not to resort to any further aggression towards Ukraine or any other peaceful country.

Dalia Stasevska
Helsinki 20.3.2014
Finnish-Ukrainian Conductor

Dalia Stasevska has conducted many of Finland’s orchestras, including the Finnish Radio Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta and in the Finnish National Opera. Forthcoming engagements will take her to the Finnish National Opera, Savonlinna Opera Festival and Davos Festival, Young Artists in Recidence. Since autumn 2009 she has been Artistic Director of the Kamarikesä (Chamber Music Summer) Festival in Helsinki.


More about Dalia Stasevska

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‘Love Ukraine’ by Volodymyr Sosyura


Ukrainian poet Volodymyr Sosiura (1898-1965) in his poem “Love Ukraine” (1944) stated that one cannot respect other nations without respect for one’s own.

Love Ukraine by Volodymyr Sosiura (1944)

Love your Ukraine, love as you would the sun,
The wind, the grasses and the streams together…
Love her in happy hours, when joys are won,
And love her in her time of stormy weather.

Love her in happy dreams and when awake,
Ukraine in spring’s white cherry-blossom veil.
Her beauty is eternal for your sake ;
Her speech is tender with the nightingale.

As in a garden of fraternal races,
She shines above the ages. Love Ukraine
With all your heart, and with exultant faces
Let all your deeds her majesty maintain.

For us she rides alone on history’s billows,
In the sweet charm of space she rules apart,
For she is in the stars, is in the willows,
And in each pulse-beat of her people’s heart,

In flowers and tiny birds, and lights that shine,
In every epic and in every song,
In a child’s smile, in maidens’ eyes divine,
And in the purple flags above the throng…

Youth ! For her sake give your approving laughter,
Your tears, and all you are until you die…
For other races you’ll not love hereafter
Unless you love Ukraine and hold her high.

Young woman ! As you would her sky of blue,
Love her each moment that your days remain.
Your sweetheart will not keep his love for you,
Unless he knows you also love Ukraine.

Love her in love, in labour, and in fight,
As if she were a song at heaven’s portal…
Love her with all your heart and all your might,
And with her glory we shall be immortal.

Translated by C.H. Andrusyshen and Watson Kirkconnell 
“The Ukrainian Poets, 1189-1962.” University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 1963.

In 2012, Oleksandr Hontar filmed a video where twelve people from nine different countries all around the world tell fragment of this poem. Almost all them are couchsurfers that stopped at Oleksandr’s place, and also foreign students from his university. During trips around Kyiv Oleksandr asked them to say a couple of lines from the poem while filming. 



Stars align for Canada & Ukraine Together/Razom concert

By Olena Wawryshyn

The Canada & Ukraine Together/Razom benefit concert held on March 28th at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre near Toronto, Ontario was one of those rare events where everything fell into place so phenomenally that God’s hand seemed to be at work.

Incredibly, the gala concert was organized in just over three week. Ticket sales were so brisk that the event set a single-day ticket-sales record at the Centre’s Hammersmith Hall, which seats more than 1,300.




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Cowgirl battalion will protect Ukraine from Russian invasion – MUSIC VIDEO with English subs

The Ukrainian music group “Lisapetniy battalion” has filmed a new clip to the music of Natalia Falion – “Come on, you old broads”. In the video the “battalion” members are ready to protect the country in case of war with Russia.


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Musicians played the EU anthem in airports of six Ukrainian cities – VIDEO


On March 30 at 13:00, orchestras of six Ukrainian cities (Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk) held simultaneous flashmobs, performing ‘Ode to Joy’, the anthem of the European Union, in the international airports of the respective cities.

According to Mediaport, the event was part of a volunteer project ‘Our common air’ to honor those who died in Kyiv on February 18-20. In honor of the deceased policemenand ‘Heaven’s Hundred’ symphony orchestras of these cities played the anthem of the European Union at the same time.

In Lviv ‘Ode to Joy’ was performed by the Gloria Chamber choir and Academic Symphonic orchestra INSO-Lviv

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Russian culture centers representatives in Ukraine oppose Kremlin agression

Representatives of Russian culture centers in Ukraine held a press conference on March 5 to express their opposition to the aggressive policy of the Kremlin to “defend” the Russian population, reports Espreso.TV.

The press conference was attended by Yuriy Vakulenko, CEO of the National Museum of Russian Art, Ludmyla Hubianuri, director of the Mikhail Bulgakov Museum, Natalia Tyshayeva, director of the Pushkin Museum, Mykhaylo Reznikovych, general and artistic director of the L. Ukrayinka National Theatre of Russian Drama, and others, reports Espreso. TV.

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