Spring Concert for Ukraine


Residents are invited to celebrate Ukrainian culture at a concert in South Woodford this week

Following the weekend celebrating the Day of Kyiv in Ukraine (28 May), you are invited to a charitable concert offering a glimpse at the richness of the Ukrainian culture. Three incredibly gifted Ukrainian musicians – Iryna Rodionova (vocal, bandura), Luka Stepanyak (violin) and Nazar Voronov (piano) – will take the audience on an artistic journey and a musical walk through the country which is now fighting for its freedom.

In addition, with their performance, the musicians also wish to take an opportunity to express their gratitude to the British people for showing their overwhelming support and kindness to those in need of help and shelter. Two of the musicians have been recently displaced; they fled the war and are currently living in London.

The special programme will feature compositions by the jewels of the Ukrainian musical tradition including Bashtan, Starytsky, and Skoryk, as well as an iconic “My Kyiv” by Shamo and a 100 year old song “Chervona Kalyna” (The red viburnum) which is enjoying a renewed popularity in Ukraine especially since the Russian war broke out in 2014.

Kyiv Day, or officially the Day of Kyiv, is a holiday in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv that is usually celebrated in the last Sunday of May. Traditionally, the celebration features activities and festive events such as street and outdoor performances, cultural exhibitions, sporting activities, fashion shows, and music concerts. In peaceful times there used to be a firework show in the evening. Bandura Musical Instrument The bandura is the instrument that best embodies the voice and soul of Ukraine, and is considered by many to be the national instrument of Ukraine. From a musical perspective, the bandura unifies acoustic principles of both the lute and the harp. This produces a sound that is emphatic and gentle, resembling that of a harpsichord, but with a wide range of dynamics and tonal control. The bandura’s development closely reflects the history of the Ukrainian nation, dating back hundreds of centuries. Historically, the bandura was developed from kobza and played by blind minstrels who travelled from village to village singing epic ballads and historical songs, the singers were known as kobzars. It has 32-55 strings. Over centuries, the bandura has remained remarkably stable for the past 300 years both in its appearance and sound.

The concert will take place at St. Mary’s Church in South Woodford on 1 June from 7pm. Click here for tickets.