NATO gala concert in Kyiv, Ukraine

  • Last updated: 09 Apr. 2009 09:37

The National Philharmonic of Ukraine was bursting at the seams with foreign dignitaries, Ukrainian government officials and partners as it hosted a black-tie gala concert followed by a grand reception to celebrate NATO’s 60th Anniversary on 4 April.

The event was organized by the NATO Information and Documentation Centre (NIDC) jointly with the embassies of Belgium and the Slovak Republic, which is the Contact Point Embassy for NATO in Ukraine.

The Academic Symphonic Orchestra of the National Philharmonic of Ukraine was conducted by the renowned Belgian conductor Ronald Zollman.

The programme for the evening would have satisfied the most demanding music lovers. It premiered Azaleas Songs, composed by the modern Ukrainian composer Ihor Shcherbakov and performed by Svitlana Gleba (soprano), a soloist of the Cantus Chamber Choir, Uzhhorod.

The Concert for Piano and Orchestra by contemporary Belgian composer Benoît Mernier also featured in the programme. The composer, who visited Kyiv specifically for this occasion, entrusted the performance to the eminent American concert pianist David Lively.

The concert concluded with the symphony №8 in G major, in Op.88, by Antonin Dvořák.

Celebrating peace, security and freedom

In his opening speech, Belgian Ambassador Mark Vinck noted that the anniversary was “a timely occasion to recall the Alliance’s major contribution to peace and security in Europe and in the wider world, and to stress how much important it is to continue to strengthen the relations with Ukraine, but also to develop good relations with all neighboring countries.”   

Michel Duray, Director of the NIDC explained “We chose music instead of speeches to celebrate, because music goes back to the very first roots of humankind, and very often was associated to feelings and emotions linked to security of the first man and women. It was a way to freedom.”

Slovak Ambassador Urban Rusnak concluded with welcoming the guests and wishing them a pleasant time for this milestone event.

The whole concert was broadcast the following day on the National radio station Culture, which gave the opportunity for a broader audience to enjoy the carefully selected programme.