In Stockholm, young Ukrainians performed in the most prestigious professional concert halls in Sweden – Musikaliska and Eric Erikssonhallen. The Shchedryk Children’s Choir, the INSO-Lviv Academic Youth Symphony Orchestra, IDP children from Donbas (laureates of international contests) and Adolf Fredriks Musikklasser, Sweden’s oldest choral school, participated in the festival. “The idea was to enrich the professional cultural space of Scandinavia with a layer of high Ukrainian music, rather than organize another festival for Ukrainians who live abroad,” said Natalia Pasichnyk, Ukrainian-Swedish pianist, director of the Ukrainian Institute in Sweden, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
The festival featured a world premiere of a work of one of the most renowned young Swedish composers Andrea Tarrodi: concertino, composed specially for the festival on the basis of Ukrainian and Swedish folk melodies. The composer performed her work together with the Lviv INSO Orchestra. “It was the first time when Piano Concerto No.2 by Franz Xaver Mozart (son of V.-A. Mozart), who lived most of his life in Lviv, was performed in Sweden. A music piece by Stuchevsky, a composer born in Rivne, was performed for the first time by one of the most celebrated Swedish cellists,” added Natalya Pasichnyk.
Works of Ukrainian composers, or Ukraine-related composers, were also presented. The first day of the festival was dedicated exclusively to choral music. “Shchedryk soloed initially, then Swedish school followed and finally they performed several works together – for this they studied several works in Swedish and Swedish children also learnt some Ukrainian in order to sing together,” said Tetyana Kalita, Director of the NGO “International Institute of Cultural Diplomacy”. “One of the most emotional moments of the final gala concert was when the Shchedryk choir performed jointly with Adolf Fredriks Musikklasser singing Lysenko’s prayer for Ukraine. The audience, which was 80% Swedish, stood up and it greatly impressed us,” added Ms. Pasichnyk.
During their stay in Sweden, the children lived in Swedish families and had the opportunity to get acquainted with the culture of the country more closely. “It was quite unique when in the shortest time, within 3 days, the children, together with Swedish performers, Swedish children, were able to play professionally on stage, and to attend a Swedish music school, learn the specific aspects of their education, find out what children study there. This is a profound cultural exchange, when, in a short time, children could see the way a different culture is organized,” added Claudia Shevelyuk, Co-founder of the Center for Cultural Initiatives “Responsible Future”.