the UASP presents Shevchenko & Shakespeare, Kyiv & Lviv June 2016

After 27 years on the international opera stage, I am so very proud to have received a unique and historic invitation from the National Philharmonic Hall of Ukraine in Kyiv and the Lviv Philharmonic Hall to present a recital of Ukrainian art songs.  

For years, the world has been acquainted with Ukrainian classical music, but not with the rich treasures of more than 1,000 Ukrainian art songs.  In this genre, our most eminent composers have set fine poetry to music and, once again, most eloquently portrayed Ukraine as a cultured and forward-looking nation. 

The Ukrainian Art Song Project (Canada)

Since 2004, with the vital support of a conscientious board of volunteers, together with many generous donors, I have been able to devote much of my time to the discovery, recording and promotion of Ukrainian art songs, to ensure that they finally take their rightful place on the world stage.  Of the 1,000 plus art songs that we have collected to date, we have now recorded 352. 

A World Library of Ukrainian Art Songs

In addition to the recordings and the promotion of Ukrainian art songs to all students of music, the Ukrainian Art Song Project has created the ‘Ukraine Millennium Foundation Online World Library of Ukrainian Art Songs’.  Please visit our website for further details: 

The Evening’s Programme

Being British-born, of Ukrainian descent, I consider it fitting to present a programme that compares and contrasts the poetry of Taras Shevchenko (1814 – 1861)  and William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616), both bards of their respective countries.   Whilst some of the art songs in the first part of the recital may be familiar to you, after the interval, I invite you to witness a new song cycle of Shakespearean sonnets composed by your very own Oleksandr Jacovchuk.

With the support of the Ukrainian Art Song Project (Canada), I have performed this programme in New York, Toronto, Munich, Edmonton and at Harvard University in Boston. 

And now, this evening, I am delighted to bring this programme home to the people of Ukraine.

Pavlo Hunka
Artistic Director and Founder,
Ukrainian Art Song Project