Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design

Benefit concert for Ukraine - one year since the invasion

On February 24, one year after the invasion of Ukraine, there will be a benefit concert at Bergen Domkirke featuring Torleif Torgersen, a piano professor at the Grieg Academy, and Hanna Veits, a Grieg Academy alumna and violinist.

Hanna Veits
Eivind Senneset

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Where: Bergen domkirke
When: kl 19:00 24. februar 2023
Organizer: Griegakademiet - Institutt for musikk
What: Melodies of the Moments: 22 Pieces in 7 Cycles for Violin and Piano by Valentin Silvestrov. Hanna Veits, violin and Torleif Torgersen, piano.

There will also be a speech by the rector of the University of Bergen, Margareth Hagen.

On February 24, it will be exactly one year since Russia's brutal war against Ukraine began. The war has led to massive destruction, unimaginable suffering for the population of the country, and the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

At this concert, you will hear works by Valentin Silvestrov, considered Ukraine's foremost composer. His work Melodies of the moment, which the musicians will perform on February 24, consists of 22 small pieces in 7 booklets. Although they can also be played separately, Silvestrov's intention was that the work be played in its entirety, as the pieces sometimes blend into each other. The music is introspective, subdued, and intensely beautiful.

Valentin Silvestrov, now 85 years old, was evacuated from Kyiv in March 2022 and now lives in Berlin.

The performers of Silvestrov's works are Hanna Veits, a violinist educated at the Grieg Academy. She is originally from Luhansk in eastern Ukraine and came to Norway 5 years ago. Torleif Torgersen is a pianist and professor at the Grieg Academy in Bergen.

All proceeds from the concert (where there will be collection via Vipps 90720) go in full to the Ukrainian Association in Bergen, which, among other things, raises money for medical shipments to Ukraine.

More info about the concert:

22 Pieces in 7 Cycles for Violin and Piano by Valentin Silvestrov.

".....a large cycle consisting of seven works that are performed continuously - like one long text. This work could well be called (in analogy to Bach's 'Art of Fugue') 'Art of Melody' if there were a didactic mission. But here is no 'art' whatsoever, only melodies – flashing moments, captured, frozen in time, songs without words – words which may be lost or forgotten." (V. Silvestrov).

Bohdana Pivnenko, famous Ukrainian violinist, about this cycle:

"We once went on tour with Silvestrov in 2008 and 2012. He wrote "Melodies of the Moments", but this is completely different music. I asked him: "Valentin Vasyliovych, you used to write such avant-garde music, but now you write such simple melodies." He said: "I'm still in the avant-garde, it's just that the avant-garde has changed."

The cycle takes approximately 70 minutes altogether. It is intimate and elusive - the composer describes it as "melodies [...]on the boundary between their appearance and disappearance".

Valentin Vasylyovych Silvestrov, born 30 September 1937, is a Ukrainian composer and pianist. He is one of the most known and played Ukrainian contemporary composers. His style can be described as neoclassical and post-modernist. This is how Silvestrov describes his music himself: "I do not write new music. My music is a response to and an echo of what already exists."

Silvestrov was born and has been living all his life in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. In the beginning of March, because of the russian full-scale invasion into Ukraine, he was evacuated to Germany. Now he lives in Berlin. The 85 years old composer recently visited Oslo where his symphonic and chamber works were performed during the Ultima festival.