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Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Ukraine – part 6

Concert day. The dress rehearsal on the morning of the performance is shortened to 3 hours (with a 30 minute break.) When I arrive at the hall I'm again met by the executive director who says he needs another 5 minutes of time to talk to the orchestra. This time he brings the sobering news that tonight will be their last concert in a while. I'm told later that he referred everyone to the book Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, literature he is reading currently, and drawing some parallels in the process with the current world…
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Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Ukraine – part 5

Ukrainian Adventure Part V It is quite interesting to watch catastrophic world events emerging when you are far from your own home. Of course, there is the time change: Lviv is 8 hours ahead of Denver, and 6 hours ahead of the events happening in Washington. As reports are unfolding, we awake to find that our travel agents have in fact discovered that our flights for the following Wednesday from Kiev to Munich have been canceled by Lufthansa, but there was no effort on the airlines' part to rebook us. Thus the next day leaves us wondering what our itinerary…
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Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Ukraine – part 4

Ukrainian Adventure, Part IV Another big breakfast then off to rehearsal. The orchestra is quick to respond to changes and adjustments. The strings have bar numbers for the Dvorak but not the winds, so we asked that they get put in for today. Still, a few understand some English, but not all. This only slows the rehearsal process down mildly. Today is the first day to work with our soloist and we get through the entire concerto with a few changes being made. Some challenging spots for sure in the Tchaikovsky Bb minor concerto, but we run through some tough…
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Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Ukraine – part 3

Ukrainian Adventure, Part III After another substantial breakfast in the hotel, it was off to the Lviv Philharmonic Hall for my first rehearsal. From the hotel it is only a 6-minute walk to the hall and when winding your way through some narrow streets, you pass right by the Lviv Conservatory where the sounds of vocal and other instrumental practice can be heard drifting down to the street. Serhiy Khoravets is one of contacts at the Philharmonic and he meets me on the street with a big smile and handshake. We walk inside through a narrow hallway that leads to…
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Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Ukraine – part 2

Monday was a layover day spent studying and walking around Lviv. Breakfast was in the hotel and was typical European fare with juice, cheese, yogurt, eggs — fried and scrambled, meats — hot and cold, some in the form of bacon or sausage. There are thin crepe-style pancakes to which you can add Nutella or fresh jam. Fresh breads, croissants, and other rolls are also available. I certainly was expecting it to be colder based on a trip to Germany many years ago around this time of year, but the weather has been pleasantly mild. The sun came out for…
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Maestro Kenney’s Adventures in Ukraine – part 1

Sunday, March 8, 2020 On the day the Music Director of the Lviv Philharmonic, Taras Krysa, was conducting the Fort Collins Symphony in concert, I was on my way to Lviv, Ukraine. I’ll admit it was a little disconcerting to see my suitcase get on the plane last as I was boarding the smallish regional jet for the trip between Munich and Lviv. On my arrival it was a sign of the times that we were checked for fever on entering the terminal. But passport control and gathering my belongings were quick and from the time I stepped off the…
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