The Bouquet Kyiv Stage Festival is a centrepiece of cultural life in Kyiv every summer and 2022 was no exception. The Festival took place on a more limited scale than usual but with great resonance and beauty in the magnificent setting of the eleventh-century Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom (Svyata Sofiya), a building which itself reflects Ukraine’s history and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This year the Festival not only continued to be celebrated in Kyiv but is taking place outside Ukraine for the first time, in Oxford from 28 September to 1 October.
The Bouquet Kyiv Stage Festival coming from Kyiv to Oxford on this occasion, takes place as a part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture devised jointly by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute, giving voice to Ukrainian creatives and focusing on the changing needs and priorities of the Ukrainian cultural sector, and also opens the Ukrainian Culture Weeks 2022 initiative that was launched by Cherwell College Oxford, Oxford University Ukrainian Society, and Ukrainian Cultural Centre Dom Master Klass with the aim of supporting Ukrainian culture and heritage.
Helen Clarke, Vice Principal of Cherwell College Oxford says: “During the most challenging period for Ukraine since its independence, Bouquet Kyiv Stage Festival offers opportunities to celebrate and honour Ukraine’s rich culture and heritage. We feel a deep sense of unity with the people of Ukraine and feel that it is our duty to support the unique culture of Ukraine”.
Ruslan Pavlyshyn, President of Oxford University Ukrainian Society says: “Our Society is deeply proud to welcome the annual Ukrainian Seasons to Oxford. Ukrainian Culture Weeks is a unique opportunity to promote Ukraine’s cultural and intellectual heritage in the United Kingdom. As a centre of knowledge and free speech, we believe Oxford is the ideal venue to celebrate our shared values of democracy and freedom”.
The main message of Bouquet Kyiv Stage in Oxford – Gratitude from UA to the UK.
“Great Britain was among the first countries in the world to express its stance clearly and uncompromisingly in an unprovoked cruel war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. It has been providing invaluable support to Ukraine since day one of the war. The festival is intended as our gift of gratitude to British People and support to Ukrainian Culture”, – says Ukrainian Cultural Centre Dom Master Klass, the organiser of Bouquet Kyiv Stage.
David Codling, Director of the UK/Ukraine season says: “The British Council and our Ukrainian Institute partners began planning the UK/Ukraine Season two years ago but its purpose, despite very changed circumstances, is the same: exploring many facets of cultural exchange between our two countries and looking to the future. That the Bouquet Kyiv Stage Festival was presented in Ukraine in the summer of 2022 was an act of beautiful defiance, and that the Festival is being presented outside Ukraine for the first time is a signal of resolution and hope. The association of Bouquet with the UK/Ukraine Season reflects our shared values and we are proud to be working alongside our Ukrainian partners in the tribute to Maestro Valentyn Sylvestrov which will be one of the high points of this rich and varied programme.”
Tetyana Filevska, Creative Director of the Ukrainian Institute stated: “Bouquet Kyiv Stage is an exceptional festival for Kyivites: with deep curatorial expertise in programming and an atmosphere that has gathered around it a circle of devoted supporters. The combination of music, visual art and educational formats allows one to learn and experience Ukrainian culture in its entirety. Usually held in St. Sophia Cathedral, the cultural pearl of Kyivan Rus, the festival for the first time is taking place overseas, in Oxford, the UK — which especially emphasises the close cooperation between our two countries at this difficult time. A special event of the festival is the celebration of the anniversary of the living legend of modern Ukrainian music, the composer Valentyn Sylvestrov, who will personally attend the concerts and talk to the audience.”
The city of Oxford is an extraordinary and meaningful place to celebrate the festival. Oxford is the city of knowledge and free speech, the place where democratic human values have originated as well as have been declared and brought to life. These are the values Ukraine is fighting for today.
Bouquet Kyiv Stage Festival will take place at the following Oxford venues: The Sheldonian Theatre, Christ Church Cathedral, Holywell Music Room (Wadham College), the Levine Building (Trinity College), and Oxford Town Hall.
UK/Ukraine Season and Ukrainian Culture Weeks 2022 are proud to collaborate with Bouquet Kyiv Stage, in presenting a rich and varied programme of Ukrainian music. The festival’s highlight will be the celebration of the renowned Ukrainian Maestro Valentyn Sylvestrov, Ukraine’s best-known living composer, marking his 85th birthday with us in Oxford in person on September 30. Valentyn Sylvestrov will be an honoured guest of the festival, and his choral and piano works will be featured in the programme.
The festival programme includes:
Seven concerts of classical music among them:
Exhibition “War” featuring work from the documentary photographer Oleksandr Glyadelov’s Photographs were taken by the artist in Irpin, Bucha, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and other ruined cities of Ukraine. Glyadelov’s works have been featured on the world’s leading publications and media covers.
Visual music performance celebrating the renowned Ukrainian artist Maria Primachenko. Ukrainian museum with the collection of Maria Primachenko’s masterpieces was burnt down by Russian occupants in February 2022.
“Face the Future” is a music performance staged by the innovative Ukrainian fashion designer Fedir Vozianov
Key speaker at the Public Talks lecture series will be Nelia Kykovalska, the General Director of Ukraine’s main museum complex and the UNESCO World Heritage Site: St.Sophia of Kyiv National Reserve.
PROCEEDS FROM EVENT TICKETS WILL HELP SUPPORT HUMANITARIAN INITIATIVES IN UKRAINE.