The conversation will take place on the one-year anniversary of the invasion on YouTube at noon EST on 24 February 2023

KCMD Image

Albert Saprykin, Les Vynogradov and Mariia Tytova from Kyiv Contemporary Music Days

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Online music education platform CelloBello will host a conversation that sheds light on the lives of classical musicians in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion. The YouTube event is scheduled for noon EST on Friday 24 February 2023, exactly one year after the start of the full-scale attack.

CelloBello leaders Paul Katz (founder and artistic director) and Robert Rund (executive director) will be joined by members of Kyiv Contemporary Music Days (KCMD), an organisation that has pivoted its work since the start of the war to focus on cultural diplomacy, awareness of Ukrainian music, the plight of classical musicians in Ukraine throughout the war, and raising funds to support basic needs of classical musicians now living in Ukraine.

In looking ahead to this conversation with CelloBello, Les Vynogradov of KCMD stated that ’we feel it is important to share first-hand experiences of Ukrainian musicians going through a war in a way that inspires solidarity rather than pity.

’We wish to convey the human side of this last year from the perspective of professional musicians who are in so many ways alike to their colleagues in the US but who faced a reality of a brutal invasion they couldn’t have expected. We would also like to remind the international community that the war is far from over and people living and working in Ukraine risk their lives every day.’

’The conversation on 24 February with our friends in Ukraine is a continuation of the important dialogue we began last year,’ said Rund, referring to a conversation with KCMD live streamed on 24 August 2022. ’It is important to remember that while our collective attention may be drawn to other news around the globe, this is very much an ongoing fight for Ukrainian people, and we continue to condemn this act of aggression on Ukraine,’ Rund added.

’At CelloBello, our particular lens is focused on creating a global community of musicians, and it is both heartbreaking to consider what our Ukrainian colleagues have endured and at the same time inspiring to witness their solidarity and resilience,’ said Katz. ’Our friends at Kyiv Contemporary Music Days have focused their energies on meaningful and positive actions.’

In addition to the upcoming conversation on 24 February, CelloBello will re-release the music video it first published on Independence Day in Ukraine last year. The music video, originally released on 24 August 2022 (the six-month anniversary of the full-scale invasion), gathered cellists from around the world in a musical tribute dedicated to those who have fought and sacrificed for freedom in Ukraine. The video features renowned cellists Mike Block (USA), Paul Katz (USA), Zlatomir Fung (USA), Elena Korableva (Russia/USA), Petro Sokach (Ukraine/Norway) and Glib Sasko (Ukraine) in a music video of a newly-commissioned arrangement by Mike Block that contains a Ukrainian folk song and the State of Ukraine Anthem. 

Watch the conversation here on Friday 24 February 2023, noon EST:

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