The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York connects with Ukraine through music

The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York connects with Ukraine through music
Suffolk Principal Orchestra with Music Director Phil Preddice_PC Rob Davidson Photography

The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York will perform a program highlighting American democracy while forging connections with Ukraine through music.

On Sunday, March 17, at 2 p.m., members of the MYO Suffolk Principal Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Phil Preddice will give the American premiere of two Ukrainian pieces, and perform Aaron Copland’s iconic “Lincoln Portrait” at Staller Center for the Arts
at Stony Brook University at 100 Nicolls Road in Stony Brook.

Maestro Preddice began this international collaboration with the Odesa Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2023, wanting to connect his orchestra of talented young musicians on Long Island to the wider musical world.

Max Naftol, MYO Music Librarian and Media Specialist, contacted Hobart Earle, Music Director of the OPO, in November 2023, leading to this musical exchange.

The difficulties of daily life in an active warzone were made starkly clear in email communication with Maestro Earle, who noted the difficulty of the OPO rehearsing amidst daily air-raid sirens and the general uncertainty of war.

The SPO will perform two pieces straight from Odesa, giving them their American premieres. The first piece, the Zaporizhian March by Yevhen Adamtsevych, is an exclusive arrangement of the OPO that had yet to be digitally engraved when this collaboration commenced.

The MYO musicians read handwritten music sent directly from the warzone, highlighting music’s power to connect across languages, cultures, and national boundaries. The other Ukrainian piece the SPO will premiere, entitled Reminiscence, is composed by Maestro Earle himself and is written in the 12-tone serial musical idiom, which has expanded the sonic palette of MYO’s young musicians.

“We all know that music is the Universal Language, but through these music notes we are feeling the soul and tenacity of the Ukrainian people,” said Maestro Preddice.

American democracy is centered in the middle of this concert program with a performance of Lincoln Portrait by Aaron Copland.

This classic work is interlaced with quotations from Abraham Lincoln, and will be narrated by MYO Choir Director Edward P. Norris III.

Copland’s music and Lincoln’s quotations place both musician and audience alike in Lincoln’s shoes during the Civil War, showcasing the history and challenges of democracy, and its eventual triumph.

Performing Groups and Conductors:
Suffolk String Orchestra, Music Director Felicya Schwarzman
Suffolk Symphony Orchestra, Music Director Scott Zarchy
Suffolk Principal Orchestra, Music Director Phil Preddice
Tickets for this concert are on sale now through ShowTix4U.



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