Extensive and bright tour of the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra in the United States


John Fleming talks about it in one of America’s leading media, “Classical Voice North America”. As part of a two-month tour of 40 concerts under the baton of principal conductor Theodore Kuchar, the orchestra performed at the Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts in Florida.

“Normally, a tour like this — Florida, New York City, across America — would be something to look forward to,” said Theodore Kuchar, the Ukrainian American who is principal conductor of the Lviv Philharmonic. “But people in the orchestra are extremely traumatized by the war, and being away for so long causes a lot of anxiety.”

It is noticed that the musicians got bad news from back home on Jan. 14, when a Russian missile demolished part of a large apartment complex in Dnipro, a city in central Ukraine, and killed more than 45 residents, including children. “That was absolutely horrible news, to hear that entire families were wiped out,” said violin soloist Vladyslava Luchenko a few days later. “You feel like your heart is broken open when you allow yourself to grieve. But we still go out onstage to perform.”

Теодор Кучар та Академічний симфонічний оркестр Львівської філармонії

Luchenko, a native of Kyiv who is now concertmaster of the Theater Orchester Biel Solothurn in Switzerland, acknowledged the pain that Lviv players are feeling, but said she felt it was a privilege to be on the tour.

“It’s a way for us to fight as well,” she said. “We musicians are not trained to fight on the front lines. If we can show the U.S. public our music, our culture, and the greatness of Ukraine, then this mission is worth our being away from home so long.”

The tour programs mostly consist of well-known classical repertoire (Brahms, Grieg, Dvořák, Beethoven), but each concert includes a Ukrainian piece.