Stanislav Khristenko, the Artistic Director of the Kharkiv Music Fest, an annual classical music festival held in Ukraine’s “Second City,” recently visited the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and shared information about this cultural extravaganza. This year’s two-week-long festival, which began on March 23, included major traditional concerts (featuring Ukrainian and foreign artists) devoted to the music of Mozart and others, an Amadeus Camp for children, public lectures, opera flash mobs, a Kharkiv Music Forum discussion on music industry management and promotion, master classes conducted by leading Ukrainian and international performers, school visits, and the ArtPiano project which placed colorfully painted pianos at various public venues around the city for spontaneous performances by passers-by.
The Kharkiv Music Fest is becoming an important annual European event and has placed the city on the world’s cultural map–at least that’s the underlying goal of the project, according to its initiator, Mr. Khristenko. The Fest “for me, is an opportunity to prove that Kharkiv can become known worldwide as a place for culture and classical music,” he says, adding that it provides the opportunity “to promote global and European culture — which classical music is — to the local community and, especially, the younger generation, which is very important at this historical moment for Ukraine.”
Mr. Khristenko, an accomplished classical pianist on the international stage, is a native of Kharkiv and currently resides in the Washington, DC-area. He has appeared as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Phoenix and Richmond Symphonies, National Orchestra of Belgium, Bilbao and Tenerife Symphony Orchestras, Liege Royal Philharmonic, Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, and Takamatsu Symphony Orchestra, among others. His performance highlights include solo recitals in Weill and Zankel Halls at Carnegie Hall, Schubert-Saal at Vienna Konzerthaus, Palais de Beaux-Arts in Brussels, as well as performances with orchestras in Grosser Saal of The Berlin Philharmonie, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Moscow Conservatory Great Hall, and Hong Kong City Hall.
In an effort to promote classical music in his home-town, Stanislav Khristenko spearheaded a classical music festival in Kharkiv in 2017 held under the title of Mirror Stream, which included recognized classical performers from abroad, who were natives of Kharkiv. That initiative has now grown into the spectacular annual Kharkiv Music Fest. The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation has been a proud supporter of Stanislav’s efforts to engage Kharkivites of all generations in the enjoyment and celebration of classical music, performed by great artists from Ukraine and from around the world, as well as aspiring local musicians and students.
Photo at at top page (L to R): Adrian Karmazyn, Stanislav Khristenko and John Kun at USUF. [Credit: Matthew Popadiuk].