While being mindful of the uncertainty of world circumstances including travel, please consider a trip this Sept 10-17 to the lovely city Lviv, Ukraine for a historic orchestral festival- Thomas de Hartmann in Ukraine- a Forgotten Master. The city Lviv, close to the Polish border in Western Ukraine, is a longtime cultural center, considered by many to be one of the more attractive tourist/travel destinations in North Europe.
And yes, pianist Elan Sicroff, founder of the Thomas de Hartmann Project, fulfilling a long time dream of his, plans to finally perform and record de Hartmann’s remarkable piano concerto.
As some of you know, for about 10 years I have been a helper/advisor to the Thomas de Hartmann Project. Thomas de Hartmann(1885-1956) was a once famous Russian composer, born in Ukraine, whose classical music fell into obscurity after his death. The project aims to recover the composer’s work as well as his rightful place in the classical repertoire.
A few years ago I embraced the aim to help bring out de Hartmann’s orchestral music, a logical next step following the successful initiative led by Elan Sicroff to record de Hartmann’s solo piano, vocal, and chamber music, brought to fruition in 2016 with the Basta release of a 7 CD box set. In April of this year the Uk label, Nimbus Alliance, re-issued those recordings in three releases- a double disc of chamber music, a double disc of piano music, and a single disc of songs. All have received excellent reviews.
Following a fortuitous introduction, a collaboration has developed with Theodore Kuchar an accomplished American/Ukrainian conductor in Lviv, Ukraine, in conjunction with the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine. Maestro Kuchar, who is the most recorded conductor of our time (over 100 classical CDs), is very enthusiastic about the discovery of de Hartmann’s music, in light of its high quality, cultural legacy for Ukraine, and historic significance for early/mid 20th Century music in general.
Together, we have organized a festival of three orchestral concerts in Lviv Ukraine to occur on Sept 10, 14, and 17 this year. Each concert will feature its own distinct repertoire and will be followed by recording sessions, the result of which will be 3 new CDs of music not previously recorded or performed in our time. This is the first phase of a plan to record a comprehensive selection (5-6 CDs) of de Hartmann orchestral music, as well as possibly the opera, Esther.
The first concert program will include de Hartmann’s Concerto Andaluz (1949) for flute, strings, and percussion, performed by flutist Bülent Evcil. The second concert will feature the composer’s first Symphonie Poeme (1935), a major 55 min work. One of those programs will likely include the concerto for contrabass performed by the renowned UK artist, Leon Bosch.
The third concert will feature Elan Sicroff performing de Hartmann’s remarkable piano concerto, to be conducted by Tian Hui Ng, Mt Holyoke College professor, and conductor of the Pioneer Valley Symphony.
Of course everything is quite uncertain, particularly in these times, and we can’t say what the circumstances will be in a few months; but the good news is that airline tickets currently include a no-change-fee policy.
Three concerts of wonderful/eclectic music are calling out to you- all to be experienced in a beautiful old European style city at a lovely time of year.
We hope to see you there and enjoy it all together, in person or in spirit.