Held under the motto ‘the European Symphony of Ukrainian Independence,’ it will consist of two parts.
The programme of the first one, in the Ukrainian National Opera, includes Ukraine’s national anthem, Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto, and Janáček’s symphonic rhapsody ‘Tatar Bulba.’ Later the same day, the I, Culture Orchestra, joined by the ‘Dumka’ National Ukrainian Choir, will perform the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Kiev’s Maidan, or Independence Square.
Paweł Potoroczyn, the director of the Warsaw-based Adam Mickiewicz Institute, which founded the orchestra in 2011, told a press conference in Warsaw: “When a year ago I started telling various people that in 2015 the I, Culture Orchestra would perform the Ode to Joy at Kiev’s Maidan, the reaction was: you are crazy! Now the project is on, with over 140 television stations having expressed their interest in covering the event.”
The 2015 tour of the orchestra opens in Gdańsk on 17 August and also includes Berlin, Batumi in Georgia and Santader in Spain. The orchestra’s artistic director is the Ukrainian conductor Kirill Karabits, the Musical Director of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in the UK, the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award in the ‘Conductor of the Year’ category in 2013.
The I, Culture Orchestra is the brainchild of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. Established for the Polish presidency in the European Council, it brings together ninety-four musicians, in the 18-28 age bracket, from Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Armenia.
The idea is to create cultural bridges and highlight the importance of the Eastern and Western components of Europe’s cultural identity. During the past four years, the orchestra has given 29 concerts in 22 cities of 15 countries, including such prestigious venues as the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Royal Festival Hall in London, Teatro Real in Madrid and the Edinburgh International Festival. (mk/jh/rk)