Shedding Light on the Lives of Classical Musicians in Ukraine

Through CelloBello, NEC cello faculty Paul Katz spoke with Ukrainian musicians about resilience, while CMA faculty Mike Block wrote an arrangement of a Ukrainian folk song with the Ukrainian national anthem to create a collaboration of musical solidarity across borders.

On February 24, CelloBello hosted a virtual conversation shedding light on the lives of classical musicians in Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion. NEC cello and chamber music faculty Paul Katz co-led the conversation with Executive Director Robert Rund, joined by several members of Kyiv Contemporary Music Days:

Katz especially asked listeners to consider Kyiv Contemporary Music Days's advocacy for "solidarity rather than pity" — a call for international artists to hire and program Ukrainian artists.

“Lots of musicians in Ukraine still need basic humanitarian help, but [we also] really wish that our colleagues abroad, and in the U.S. in particular, would think about Ukrainian musicians as potential partners in joint projects,”

said Vynogradov, one of the artists who helped create Kyiv Contemporary Music Days's directory of compositions, artists, and composers to be programmed, a tool designed to help global artists connect with Ukrainian contemporary classical artists.

“Please, program Ukrainian music. Collaborate with the Ukrainian musicians, composers, musicologists, and other music professionals”

said Vynogradov.

“I think that one year into this war it is perhaps more relevant than ever.”

On August 24, 2022, on the six-month anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, a group of cellists, including NEC Contemporary Musical Arts (CMA) and composition faculty Mike Block, cello and chamber music faculty Paul Katz, and Zlatomir Fung ’16 Prep, released a musical tribute on CelloBello's YouTube channel dedicated to those who have fought for freedom in Ukraine. For their tribute, the artists selected a Ukrainian folk song and the Ukrainian national anthem, in an arrangement by Block: