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. This concert will continue to be available through the MUSAE platform. You may watch and donate at any time and your ticket purchase gives you lifelong access to the event.
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.“
To highlight this story of tragedy and triumph, we are planning a gala concert at Carnegie Hall in 2022, featuring Ukrainian and American musicians who will perform modern adaptations of this popular Christmas/holiday melody in classical, folk, jazz and rock styles, as well as music that was popular 100 years ago. — the early jazz age in the U.S.
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.