The Ukrainian Institute (Kyiv, Ukraine), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine), Razom for Ukraine (New York, United States), and the Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival (New York, United States) co-present Notes from Ukraine: A 100-Year Celebration of Carol of the Bells at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage on Sunday, December 4, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
The concert showcases world-famous choral artists from Ukraine and North America, including Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York (as featured on SNL), Kyiv-based, Ukrainian Children’s Choir Shchedryk, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, along with special guests, soprano Janai Brugger and Toronto-based Ukrainian folk singer Marichka Marczyk.
The program features a world premiere by composer Trevor Weston, setting the words of Ukrainian Nobel Prize-nominated poet, Serhiy Zhadan, as well as American choral works with Ukrainian connections by composers Eric Whitacre, Leonard Bernstein, Valentyn Sylvestrov, George Gershwin, and others.
The choral celebration will bring continued awareness to the current war in Ukraine and part of the funds raised through ticket sales will be directed to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Initiative: United24 Rebuild Ukraine campaign.
“This year, 2022, marks the centennial of the famous U.S. tour by the Ukrainian People’s Republic’s Koshyts Capella where they first performed the all-time-favorite ‘Carol of the Bells’, or ‘Shchedryk’ as we call it in Ukraine. Judging by the popularity of the song one century later, the tour was a great success of Ukrainian cultural diplomacy. We take this year’s celebration as a great opportunity to celebrate Ukrainian centuries-old culture and statehood in the times when Russia tries to destroy them. I am sure the event will give the audience a sense of what we are defending and why Ukraine will win,” Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba stated.
Celebrating 100 Years of Carol of the Bells
The year 2022 marks one hundred years since the North American premiere of Mykola Leontovych’s “Shchedryk” (known today as “Carol of the Bells”) at New York’s Carnegie Hall. This Christmas classic has captured the American imagination through film, television and commercials — from Home Alone to Coca-Cola to the Muppets — and through performances by groups as diverse as the NBA, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and many others.
“Shchedryk” (“Carol of the Bells”) premiered in the United States at Carnegie Hall on October 5, 1922 on a concert which was part of the first Ukrainian cultural diplomacy project, a world tour by the Ukrainian Republic Capella choir conducted by renowned musician Oleksandr Koshyts. The Capella was established on the initiative of the government of Ukraine and sent abroad to promote awareness of Ukrainian independence in Europe and the Americas and to counter Russian propaganda. The tour was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Arts and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR), and they performed more than 200 concerts in North America alone, at major halls and universities.
Carnegie Hall Renovation 2014, Location: New York City, Architect: Iu + Bibliowicz | photo credit: Jeff Goldberg / ESTO
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Tickets for “Notes from Ukraine: 100 Years of Carol of the Bells” range from $50 to $105 and are on sale now through the Carnegie Hall Box Office, by calling Carnegie Charge at 212-247-7800, or by visiting carnegiehall.org.
For more information on the event, please visit www.carolofthebells100.org.
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About Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kyiv
The mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is to represent and protect the interests of Ukraine in the international arena and to facilitate a favorable international environment for the development and realization of the potential of Ukraine, its society and citizens.
About Ukrainian Institute, Kyiv
The Ukrainian Institute Kyiv is a state institution acting in the field of cultural diplomacy. The institution’s activities are aimed at improving the understanding and perception of Ukraine in the world and the development of its cultural ties with other countries. Established by the Government of Ukraine, the Institute operates under the administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
About United24, Kyiv
UNITED24 was launched by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine. Funds will be transferred to the official accounts of the National Bank of Ukraine and allocated by assigned ministries to cover the most pressing needs.
About Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival, New York
The Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival is an annual three-day concert series showcasing Ukraine’s unique and exciting contributions to the field of contemporary music. Based in New York City, the festival engages audiences at the intersection of new music, contemporary events, and the culture of Ukraine.
Razom for Ukraine, New York
Razom is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2014 during the Revolution of Dignity. Razom, which means “together” in Ukrainian, believes deeply in the enormous potential of dedicated volunteers and donors from around the world united by a single goal: building and maintaining a democratic and prosperous Ukraine. Razom works towards that mission by creating spaces where people meet, partner, and do.
“War cannot eliminate our ability to speak. We retain the right to sing, the right to articulate and to debate our experiences. Ukraine is speaking and today it is impossible not to hear her.”
~ Serhiy Zhadan