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Теодор Кучар: привітання Василю Вовкуну з нагоди 40-річчя творчої діяльності

THEODORE KUCHAR

 

General Director and Principal Conductor, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine

Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra

Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, National Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela

Artist-in-Residence, The Cleveland Institute of Music

Artistic Director, The Australian Festival of Chamber Music

 

Through the 2018-19 season I have had the privilege of working with distinguished collectives in cities including Buenos Aires, Bayreuth, Bratislava, Caracas, Helsinki, Kyiv, Los Angeles, Odessa, Prague and Sydney, among others. The intensive period I have spent with the Lviv National Opera and Ballet devoted to the creation, preparation and performances of the two Stravinsky ballets „Le Sacre du Printemps” and „Pulcinella” not only represent the professional highlight of this past season but the realization of a personal dream which has existed within me for many years. This iconic and legendary theatre has represented the cultural heart for three generations of my family’s existence yet after waiting for more than 20 years I have been able to realize not only a personal dream but to have been a collaborator in the creation of one of the most dynamic and legendary theatrical productions Ukraine has yet experienced. It was the intelligence, risk, foresight and dynamism of Vasyl Vovkun that a production that many were beyond positive would be impossible has proven to have been the epic landmark it has become.

 

Whether it be opera, ballet, orchestral music or the theatre we live within a world in which history and tradition represent the unavoidable nucleus. It is this history which we must at all times respect with a consummate knowledge but it can be this same history which all too often causes an artistic decay and phlegmaticism within the existence of many theaters and concert halls today. Vasyl Vovkun is a distinguished exception among the leaders of these institutions. As the artistic leader and principal administrator of this theatre, he has showed minimal regard for the obstacles presented by the „old school” categorically opposed to change of any sort. He is radically uncompromising to mediocrity of any sort and totally unaccepting of any individual not delivering beyond their potential.

Rather than continue the recycled and repetitive practices of the past, Vasyl Volodymyrovich has courageously demanded and implemented a radical change of direction, or artistic growth, in the selection of repertoire, producers, soloists and conductors presented during his short tenure. He is an exception from many artistic directors today, not only in Ukraine. In a political and cultural environment which was for too long in a mode of stagnation he has been a symbol of courage and cultural freedom, open-minded to artistic change to all that is new and not afraid to make radical decisions often opposed by the masses. 

 

I know that there have been ideas and concepts upon which he and I were in disagreement yet we always discussed these in a civilized and intelligent manner, yet however frustrated I may have initially been am absolutely sure that my thoughts were listened to and considered, especially when the apparently finished conversation was continued by him months later.     

 

As a professional who regularly collaborates on five continents I can state with absolute authority that the direction of the Lviv National Opera and Ballet has the great fortune of operating under the leadership of Vasyl Vovkun. He continues to respect and build upon the strongest traditions of our Ukrainian heritage, will only accept an institution operating at the highest level of the present day and represents the leadership and vision of every true Ukrainian, by guiding this organization to be Ukraine’s foremost cultural ambassador in today’s world. I am indeed privileged and honored to be a friend and colleague in Vovkun’s distinguished journey forward.