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UASP Celebrates Shevchenko 200th

Shevchenko and Shakespeare Dreams Despair Desires

March of 2014 is soon approaching and will mark the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko’s birth.

The Ukrainian Art Song Project (UASP) is preparing a series of concerts, both in North America and Ukraine to commemorate this significant event. Pavlo Hunka, artistic director and acclaimed operatic bass-baritone, will begin the Shevchenko 200th Anniversary Tour in New York City on March 8th at the Ukrainian Institute of America.

The work of two great poets will be highlighted on one stage in a fascinating two-part program called Shevchenko and Shakespeare. The world première of a new composition by Oleksandr Jacovchuk, Song of Love, a setting of selected Shakespearean sonnets translated into Ukrainian, will be presented along with art songs based on the poems of Taras Shevchenko by Lysenko, Stepovyi and Stefania Turkewich.

Shevchenko Shakespeare

The Shevchenko and Shakespeare program will be repeated in Cambridge MA at the Swedenborg Chapel on March 11th, and then in Kyiv, Ukraine at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire on April 6th.

Shevchenko 200

A choral cantata, The Raging Rivers (Б'ють пороги) by Mykola Lysenko, and Testament (Заповіт) by Mykhailo Verbytksyj are two compelling works to be presented in Edmonton at the West End Christian Reformed Church on March 15th.

The program for the Gala Shevchenko 200 concert at the iconic Koerner Hall on March 23rd in Toronto will include well known favourites such as Dumy Moji (Думи Мої) and Zapovit (Заповіт). A combined choir of over 170 voices will be conducted by Kvitka Kondracki of Vesnivka Choir. A second new work, The Dream (Присниться сон мені), by Bohdana Frolyak recently commissioned for Pavlo Hunka and the Gryphon Trio, will undoubtedly be a highlight of the evening.

The tour will appropriately end in Kyiv where Mr. Hunka will take the opportunity to facilitate master classes on the subject of Ukrainian classical song with students at the Kyiv Conservatory on April 7th. In addition to the Shevchenko and Shakespeare concert on April 6th, he will conduct the Stetsenko liturgy on April 13th at the new Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. This will be followed by a concert entitled, Taras Shevchenko – From Poetry to Art Song, featuring the Bulava chorus and several students from the Royal Northern College of Music in England.

To view a copy of the tour poster click here and to order our commemorative "Taras Shevchenko – From Poetry to Art Song" compilation CD of 24 art songs click here. For further information about the concert tour, the organizational sponsors and ticket information, please click here.

New CD Release - Taras Shevchenko

To commemorate the bicentennial of the birth of Ukraine’s greatest poet Taras Shevchenko, the Ukrainian Art Song Project proudly announces the release of Taras Shevchenko - From Poetry to Art Song.

Just in time for gift giving, the Taras Shevchenko CD is available for purchase on the Ukrainian Art Song Project website.

Buy the Taras Shevchenko From Poetry To Art Song CD

This unique, 24 track recording is a beautiful tribute to Ukraine’s best-loved and most revered poet. You will hear Shevchenko classics such as Реве та стогне Дніпр широкий (Dnieper River Rages), Садок вишневий коло хати (The Cherry Orchard) and Заповіт (Testament) beautifully sung and interpreted by Pavlo Hunka and celebrated Canadian operatic singers: Russell Braun, Krisztina Szabó, Benjamin Butterfield, Allyson McHardy, Elizabeth Turnbull, Colin Ainsworth, Monica Whicher and Isabel Bayrakdarian.

Taras Shevchenko - From Poetry to Art Song features art songs based on the poems of Taras Shevchenko composed by renowned Ukrainian composers: Mykola Lysenko, Kyrylo Stetsenko, Yakiv Stepovyi, Stanislav Liudkevych, Denys Sichynsky, Vasyl Barvinsky, and Stefania Turkewich.

2014 marks the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko’s birth and Ukrainians world-wide will be commemorating this anniversary with celebrations and tributes.

The cost of the CD is $10 CAD plus shipping & handling and is available online now.

Ukrainian Art Song Project on KONTAKT

Pavlo Interviewed on Forum TV

Dr. Marko Stech interviewing Pavlo Hunka, bass-baritone. Photo credit Tania Stech.

This Saturday, November 9th at 8:00 pm, Dr. Marko Robert Stech's Розмови про культуру (Culture in Conversation) on OMNI TV's popular Ukrainian language TV program "KONTAKT", will feature an interview with Pavlo Hunka, renowned bass-baritone and the Artistic Director of the Ukrainian Art Song Project.

In a wide ranging conversation with Marko, Pavlo updates viewers about the current phase of the Art Song Project, more specifically, about the actual recording of songs featuring several 20th century Western Ukrainian composers from the Halychyna (Galician) region of Western Ukraine. Hunka speaks in detail about one of these composers, the less known, but highly accomplished Stefania Turkewich.

In Part 1 of this same interview which was previously aired on Saturday, November 2, Dr. Marko Stech and Pavlo spoke about the cultural significance of the Ukrainian art song tradition and about the importance of Ukrainian classical music and high culture in fostering a modern sense of Ukrainian national identity.

In Toronto, KONTAKT is seen on OMNI1, Cable 4. Both parts 1 and 2 of this interview will be available for viewing on YouTube at a later date. Watch for upcoming links and details.

Pavlo recently met Dr. Marko Stech on his last trip to Toronto in June and they share a common passion for the significance and importance of this cultural project. Dr. Marko Robert Stech is executive director of the CIUS Press and project manager of the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine and the Hrushevsky Translation Project at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS). He also teaches Ukrainian culture at York University.

Ukrainian Art Song Project on Forum TV

Pavlo Interviewed on Forum TV

Pavlo Hunka was a guest on the September 15th episode of Forum TV, where he gave an eloquent overview of the Ukrainian Art Song Project to date and outlined the work still to be done. Pavlo's passion was apparent as he explained how he discovered Ukrainian art songs at the age of 15 and came to realize that this treasure of classical music was largely unknown and certainly not revered in Ukraine or elsewhere.

Ukrainian Art Song Project's Composers

Pavlo's interview includes a description of the art song genre and its composers, and an update on the progress of making the scores of every art song available to everyone at no cost on the Internet. Amid clips of concert performances and recording sessions, Pavlo pays tribute to the cast of non-Ukrainian opera stars and musicians who have joined him in Toronto's Glenn Gould studio to record the complete works of seven Ukrainian composers to date. He also provides an update on the recording of the Galician art songs, the first 80 of which will be released in CD format at a launch concert on November 2, 2014 at Koerner Hall.

Pavlo performs

Watch the full interview online and learn why Pavlo chose the Ukrainian Canadian community as a partner for realizing his dream of recording the complete array of Ukrainian art songs. The interview begins at the 11:32 minute mark at this link:

YouTube: Pavlo Interviewed on Forum TV

Catch Pavlo Hunka on Ukr. National Radio, July 18

Pavlo Hunka

Pavlo in conversation with 6 voice students from the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Kyiv.

Pavlo Hunka will appear live on Ukrainian National Radio this Thursday, July 18 at 11:05 a.m. Eastern Time (18:05 Eastern European Time).   The program will also stream simultaneously on the internet.

In a 50-minute interview with Liudmila Kucherenko, Pavlo will discuss Ukrainian classical song and also his ongoing passion, the Ukrainian Art Song Project, which he founded for the purpose of compiling and recording some two thousand works from 26 of Ukraine's foremost classical composers. Pavlo has been in Ukraine this week preparing and rehearsing for his April 2014 performances at which he will present Shevchenko on the world stage, as well as Shakespeare.

To listen to Thursday's 50-minute broadcast online, click: , then click on the 3rd Channel button and then the Live Broadcast button. Then click on the 192 kb/s button when the MP3 box opens up on your screen.

Please share this email with your friends and colleagues.

For further information about the interview click:

Pavlo Hunka to Sing at Churches

Pavlo Hunka

Pavlo Hunka, Artistic Director, Ukrainian Art Song Project

Internationally renowned bass-baritone and artistic director of the Ukrainian Art Song Project, Pavlo Hunka, will travel to Toronto from his home in the England at the end of June. He will be here for several weeks to finalize recording of the first tome of the Galician art songs.

You will have a unique opportunity to hear him on two occasions when he reads the Epistle and sings parts of the service in the following churches:

• Sunday, June 23, 10 am, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Demetrius,
    3338 Lake Shore Blvd. West, Etobicoke,

• Sunday, June 30, 10 am, St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church,
   300 River Oaks Blvd. East, Oakville ,

Come and enjoy this rare opportunity to hear the rich tones of the world-acclaimed opera star in the intimate settings of two of our beautiful Ukrainian churches.

Ukrainian Art Song Project - New Season

Dear Friends,

Warm greetings from the Ukrainian Art Song Project.

When opera star Pavlo Hunka shared his dream of collecting and recording some 1,000 works by 26 of Ukraine's foremost classical composers and bringing these treasures to the world, it may have seemed formidable, but our project was soon well underway. A new season of activity is on the horizon and offers something for everyone, including another concert at Koerner Hall.


80 of the 250 Galician treasures by Vasyl Barvinsky, Stanyslav Liudkevych, Denys Sichynsky and Stefania Turkewich were recorded during the summer of 2011 by artistic director Pavlo Hunka, who was joined by a cast of Canadian opera stars at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. The works of Turkewich, Ukraine's first female composer, were largely unknown until now, and they astounded the Canadian musicians with their imaginative, innovative and beautifully melodic ideas.


Stefania Turkewich, Ukraine's first female composer

Featured on these recordings are Nathalie Paulin and Monica Whicher (soprano), Kristina Szabó (mezzo-soprano), Russell Braun (baritone), Colin Ainsworth and Benjamin Butterfield (tenor), Serouj Kradjian, Albert Krywolt and Carolyn Maule (piano), Annalee Patipatanakoon (violin) and Roman Borys (cello).

Pavlo and his wife/associate producer, Larysa, will be in Toronto in June to finalize the recording of the first set of Galician art songs, which they describe as "a revelation." They will return to Glenn Gould studio with producer Roman Hurko for finishing touches and editing of the recordings.

The concert to launch the Galician Art Songs on November 2, 2014 will be another fabulous event. Pavlo and his musical guests will interpret these rarely heard masterpieces in Toronto's acoustically brilliant Koerner Hall, the setting of our acclaimed 2010 launch of the Lysenko Art Songs CD.


To commemorate the 200th birth of Taras Shevchenko, Pavlo will perform in the Ukrainian Canadian Congress concert in Toronto on March 23, 2014 along with local Ukrainian choirs and the acclaimed Gryphon Trio.

Prior to this concert, Pavlo will perform a Shevchenko program in New York at the Ukrainian Institute of America as a featured artist of MATI (Music at the Institute) on March 8, 2014.


A highlight of the UASP season will be Pavlo's trip to Kyiv in April 2014 to present Shevchenko on the world stage. Pavlo will be the guest soloist in a concert featuring the Bulava Chorus from the United Kingdom, which he founded in 2000. While in Kyiv, Pavlo will conduct the Stetsenko liturgy. The Ukrainian Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Kyiv has invited Pavlo to give a master class where voice students will present Ukrainian art songs in concert and he will offer ideas and encouragement on their performances.


In keeping with our digital world, the complete Art Songs of Mykola Lysenko, Yakiv Stepovyi and Kyrylo Stetsenko are now available on iTunes. The advantage of this to the lover of classical music is twofold: the music is now available internationally wherever there is Internet access and a complete CD can be purchased for $9.99 or any individual song for only 99¢. Additionally, on the iTunes site you can sample any song at no cost. To try out this new way of buying music, simply click here:


The Ukrainian Art Song Project continues to capture the heart and imagination of people around the world. We invite you to support our work and share our passion for bringing these glorious musical compositions to music lovers, students, performers and audiences everywhere.

Buy Stepovyi The Art Songs
Buy Lysenko The Art Songs
Download UASP Scores


4  1/2 stars4  1/2 stars4  1/2 stars4  1/2 stars4 1/2 stars "[Hunka's] approach to the more intimate form is splendid. Even without knowing Ukrainian..., you are drawn into the sentiment of the text through his gift for musical storytelling." -Bill Rankin, The Edmonton Journal

3  1/2 stars3  1/2 stars3  1/2 stars3  1/2 stars"Impressive two-CD set... Hunka uses his lush, operatic voice with great subtlety… Albert Krywolt accompanies beautifully on the piano... these easy listening discs are a treat in all respects"-John Terauds, Toronto Star