The Lviv Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra has existed for more than two centuries and is one of the largest orchestras in Ukraine. During the early twentieth century, the orchestra had the honour of performing under the baton of guest conductors including Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Ruggero Leoncavallo. The orchestra regularly participates in the International Festival of Musical Art, Virtuosi, and the International Contemporary Music Festival, Contrasts. Іn 2006, the Lviv Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra was awarded the honorary title, Academic.
Volodymyr Syvokhip was born in the Drohobych district of the Lviv region, in 1965. Since 1990, he has served as the executive secretary of the National Union of Composers LU Ukraine and in 2005 he became a member of the board. Additionally, Mr Syvokhip has been the General Director of the Lviv Philharmonic Society, since 2006. He currently teaches at the Lviv National Academy of Music. The Maestro is an established champion of international contemporary music having founded both the Contrasts and Virtuosi festivals in Ukraine. Further, he made a name for himself presenting programs of contemporary composers with the Lviv Chamber Choir, Gloria. Syvokhip has been awarded the Regional Prize in the name of S. Lyudkevych, the State Prize named for M. Lysenko, the honorary title of Honored Artist of Ukraine, and has received numerous civic awards, including the title of Galician Knight as an artist of culture.
Grażyna is a narrative poem by Adam Mickiewicz written in the summer of 1822 in Vilnius. Possibly his first notable work, the poem describes the exploits of a mythical Lithuanian chieftain, Grażyna, as she flights the forces of the medieval Order of the Teutonic Knights. The protagonist is believed to have been based on Mickiewicz's beloved, Karolina Kowalska. The name was originally conceived by Mickiewicz having used the root of the Lithuanian adjective gražus, which means beautiful.
Myroslav Skoryk was born in Lviv in 1938. He graduated from the Lviv Conservatory having studied under Adam Soltys, Stanyslav Liudkevych, and Roman Simovych. He then completed graduate studies at the Moscow Conservatory in the composition under Dmitri Kabalevsky. Written with swinging rhythms and folk-music pungency, the Carpathian Concerto for Orchestra, which he composed in 1972, is one of the composers’ most popular works. Since 1999, Myroslav Skoryk has served as a professor of Ukrainian music history at the National Academy of Music of Ukraine and in 2002 he was named Artistic Director of the Kyiv Music Fest, international music festival. From 2004 until 2010 he was co-head of the National Union of Composers of Ukraine and has been the Artistic Director of the National Opera of Ukraine, since 2011. He was awarded the Shevchenko Prize in 1987 and holds the title of People’s Artist of Ukraine.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed his Fifth Symphony during the summer of 1888 and conducted the first performance in Saint Petersburg on November 17, the same year. Ten years had passed between Tchaikovsky's fourth and fifth symphonies, with the Fourth Symphony having been his answer to Beethoven's Fifth. “It's a symphony of triumph over fate,” he claimed and the piece had proven to be a great advance in terms of his technique, ambition, and expressiveness. For his Fifth Symphony, Tchaikovsky turned, once again, to the theme of fate. Though on this occasion, the composer gave little away about the work's hidden meaning. As a motto theme, Tchaikovsky had chosen a phrase from Glinka's A Life for the Tsar which accompanies the words "turn not into sorrow." He did, however, make the suggestion in his working notebook that the opening and recurring theme represented "complete resignation before Fate.” The world explored by the Fifth Symphony is one of contrasts and climaxes expressed through intense orchestral colouring, as well as keen craftsmanship in the use of the orchestra. Thus, the work is often used as a study in instrumental textures, proportions, and rhythms.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator