Well-known Austrian composer Kurt Schmid, who performed in Lugansk before the war with the Lugansk Oblast Philharmonic Society, wanted to visit the LNR, but the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration, and Foreign Affairs nixed the trip. Vera Getsy, manager of the Lugansk Philharmonic told us, “Schmid was trying to come to Lugansk; he even opted to enter through Russian territory, in particular, through Volgograd. However, the Austrian Embassy only gave the composer permission to enter territory controlled by the Kiev authorities”. Getsy was commenting on remarks posted earlier today on the website of the so-called “Lugansk Military-Civilian Administration” by Gennady Moskal that Schmid would conduct a Victory Day concert in Severodonetsk, where the junta sources claimed that the Lugansk Philharmonic moved “almost at full strength”. Getsy denied this fib, “Of our 80 musicians, only five left, who, after wandering in the Ukraine, landed in Severodonetsk. They joined with the student orchestra of the Severodonetsk music school, which now claims that it’s the Lugansk Philharmonic. Schmid was and remains honorary conductor of the Lugansk Philharmonic”.
Getsy pointed up that almost all the Lugansk Philharmonic remained in the city, even in the most difficult days of July and August last year. Musicians gave impromptu concerts in the besieged city under fire, often under the open sky. She said, “There is video of these concerts, there are eyewitness accounts. We’ve posted many of them on the internet, for free access. Our orchestra was born at the time of the Great Victory… some of the first musicians of our ensemble took part in the Victory Parade in Moscow in 1945. In fact on 30 May, we invite all Lugansk people to our anniversary programme”.
Getsy said that more than 15 percent of the musicians have been with the ensemble for more than 50 years, and 70 percent have played for 30 years. All of the best musicians in the orchestra remain; they continue to delight their fans with their creativity. She said, “Today, the orchestra participates in the action Книга памяти (Kniga pamyati: Memory Book) and we give concerts all over our country. Yesterday, 5 May 5, we were in Krasny Luch, tomorrow, 7 May, we’re going to Sverdlovsk. On top of that, we have planned a tour of the Russian Federation. The Lugansk Philharmonic never moved. Our first formal concert this season will be 6 September”. Posters of all the Philharmonic concerts are on its official website; you can be sure that Lugansk’s favourite artists and musicians are still here. Our next concert will be on 10 May, presenting a programme entitled, Песни Победы (Pesni Pobedy: Songs of Victory). Moskal’s allegations that we present “bush league” concerts in Lugansk are simply not true”.
As noted on Schmid’s official website, in 2002, he became artistic director of the Academic Symphony Orchestra of Lugansk Oblast Philharmonic. He organised numerous concerts of the orchestra in Austria, the most striking of which were performances at the Great Hall of the Wiener Konzerthaus, where they played Little Russian music and masterpieces of the Viennese classics. In other Austrian cities, they performed traditional folk music and Mozart’s Requiem. During the period of coöperation with Schmid, the orchestra first performed such works as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Carmina Burana by Orff, Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, amongst others. Since December 2003, Schmid taught at the Institute of Culture and Arts of Shevchenko Lugansk National University. In 2004, he received the title of honorary professor of the university. In 2006, Schmid received the Medal “For Significant Contributions to the Cultural Development of Lugansk Oblast” (Third Class).
6 May 2015
LITs Lugansk Information Centre