A Concert to Benefit the Ukrainian People

A Concert to Benefit the Ukrainian People

Thursday, May 26, 2022
7:30pm | The Big Barn, Putney, VT
$35 general admission | Buy Tickets

Pianist Boris Berman performs Valentin Silvestrov's music for solo piano

Support Hospitals in Ukraine

All proceeds will benefit hospitals in Ukraine. Thank you to Boris Berman, the Big Barn, our staff, and our volunteers for making this possible.

We are committed to supporting Ukrainian hospitals with much needed modern medical equipment and supplies shipped from the United States of America. To address the critical needs caused by Russia's war on Ukraine, we are shifting the focus of Support Hospitals in Ukraine from medical equipment to tactical medicine and field surgery supplies. When the war is over, we will continue providing medical equipment and supplies to the hospitals in Ukraine to rebuild the country. —Support Hospitals in Ukraine

Covid-19 Safety Protocols

Please note: All attendees will be asked to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination, including at least one booster. In addition, we are requiring masks to be worn while inside the Big Barn. Masks must be N95 or equivalent.

These days, when all of us watch with horror the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, my thoughts are turning to Valentin Silvestrov, with whom I have collaborated since 1960s while still in the Soviet Union. With the onset of Putin's brutal attack on Ukraine my concerns over Silvestrov's safety in the besieged Kiev grew. Reluctant to move at first, he was later persuaded to leave his country. After a perilous journey, the 84 years old composer has reached the safety of Berlin.

Undoubtedly, Silvestrov is the most important Ukrainian composer of our time. He attracted attention in 1960s as one of the "underground Soviet modernists", a group of young composers, which included Schnittke, Denisov, Volkonsky, Gubaidulina, Part, Mansurian, and others. These talented musicians were keen on discovering new ways of musical expression, different from those approved by the Soviet officialdom. They were experimenting with the techniques developed on the other side of the "iron curtain". Among these diverse musical voices Silvestrov's was a lyrical, introverted one, looking for delicate shades and nuanced sonorities. In his later years he moved away from modernist techniques, his music became even more introspective and intimate.

Within Silvestrov's prolific output the piano plays an important role as an instrument particularly suitable for intimate confession. This program presents a panorama of his music for solo piano, from the dodecaphonic works of 1960s through the recent corpus of short and soft Bagatelles.

It is said that when cannons speak the muses fall silent. Silvestrov's soft intensity cuts through the clamor and brutality of this cruel war to emerge from the devastation caused by the barbaric invasion.
—Boris Berman