American conductor Anna Binneweg and Ukrainian violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv traveled to Chernihiv, Ukraine last week (just 50 miles south of the Russian border) as guest conductor/soloist of the Chernihiv Philharmonic. Given the current political unrest in Ukraine, these two professionals arrived with courage and bravery desiring to unite the people of Chernihiv, providing the community with an “American” orchestral experience.
Binneweg is the first American female conductor to perform with the Chernihiv Philharmonic, conducting Barber's Violin Concerto performed for the first time in that city. Ivakhiv and Binneweg delivered an outstanding performance, including Dvorak Carnival Overture and Brahms Symphony No. 2. Particularly the women of the city found this conductor/soloist duo an inspiration to young, aspiring professionals.
Ivakhiv currently resides in Philadelphia (having studied at the Curtis Institute of Music) and serves as Professor of Violin and Viola and Head of Strings at the University of Connecticut. Binneweg resides in Washington, DC (having studied at Northwestern University) and serves as Music Director/Conductor for the Londontowne Symphony Orchestra and Professor of Music at Anne Arundel Community College.
This collaboration in Chernihiv was part of Ivakhiv’s larger Ukrainian concert tour in June 2014. Despite political instability and war in Ukraine, Ivakhiv continued her tour without any cancellations, performing with "Lviv Virtuosi", Chernihiv Philharmonic, and "Kyiv Camerata" (with Polish conductor Czeslav Grabovsky).
Other works performed on the tour:
Bohdan Kryvopust Capriccio (world premiere)
Yevhen Stankovych Angel's Touch - Written for Ivakhiv and premiered at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in November 2013.
Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5
Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings in D minor
Vivaldi Four Seasons