NOTES FROM UKRAINE | December 2022
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.
KOLIADKY RE-IMAGINED: UKRAINIAN CAROLS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
On January 2, 2021 Razom Culture hosted a concert and fundraiser for the 2022 centennial event. In this concert, the singers of Ukrainian Village Voices and the musicians of Aeon Ensemble reimagined the genres of koliadky and shchedrivky by combining centuries-old carols passed down orally and contemporary imaginings of these works written and arranged by Ukraine’s finest living composers.
A century after its North American premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1922, we aim to bring the vision of MARTA KOLOMAYETS to life through a consortium of ensembles and community forces that will tell the story of Mykola Leontovych’s “Shchedryk”, known throughout the world as “Carol of the Bells”.
This event will emphasize the soft power of Ukraine’s culture and its historically strong ties with the United States through a celebration of 100 Years of Cultural Diplomacy: From “Shchedryk” to “Carol of the Bells.“
The U.S. premiere of “Shchedryk” took place on October 5, 1922 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Performed by the Ukrainian Republican Capella and conducted by maestro Oleksandr Koshetz, the melodies of Mykola Leontovych and Kyrylo Stetsenko, rang through 200 concert halls in major cities of the United States and Canada from 1922-24.
On March 30, 1936, at New York’s Madison Square Garden, a student choir directed by the American conductor of Ukrainian heritage Peter Wilhousky presented an adaptation of “Shchedryk” but with English lyrics. This is how today’s world-famous “Carol of the Bells” was born.
In 2019, the FULBRIGHT PROGRAM IN UKRAINE, headed by Kolomayets, held a centenary concert of “Shchedryk”‘s world premiere in Kyiv. The 2019 performance took place at the magnificent National Philharmonic Hall, the site where the “Shchedryk” was first performed by the Dnipro Choir of St. Volodymyr’s (Taras Shevchenko) University. The Dnipro Choir performed “Shchedryk” once more at the anniversary concert.
Read more about the event and “Shchedryk”‘s history here.