Tales of war – Ukrainian orchestra conductor shares experiences

Wednesday 15 February 2023

World-renowned Principal Conductor of the Odesa Philharmonic Orchestra, Hobart Earle, brings his tales of music in wartime Ukraine to St Andrews next week (Wednesday 22 February) with a special event at the the University of St Andrews Laidlaw Music Centre.

In the lead up to the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Earle will present a talk depicting the challenges faced by musicians in Ukraine during the war.

Hobart Earle

Hobart Earle (pictured above), Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Odesa Philharmonic Orchestra, was born in Venezuela and has conducted in many of the major concert halls, such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, and the Barbican in London and has conducted the Odesa Orchestra for more than 30 years. The Orchestra’s most recent concerts in the city, to celebrate new year, were performed in darkness due to the persistent blackouts as a result of the ongoing war.

Earle’s presentation will pay homage to the members of his orchestra, many of whom are currently displaced by the war in Ukraine or fighting the Russian invasion of their country. During the talk he will share recordings of the Orchestra’s performances from 2014 to 2022, featuring various musical compositions by Ukrainian and international composers, including Valentyn Silvestrov, Giuseppe Verdi, Yevhen Adamstevych, Alemdar Karamanov, George Gershwin, Krzysztof Penderecki, Archibald Joyce and Mykola Lysenko.

His presentation will also explore lesser-known moments in Ukrainian history, how performers adapt to life during wartime, and how music itself is transformed for the listener due to current events. Earle said: “This will be my third visit to St Andrews. My previous two visits were way back in 1978 and 1995. Back then, how could I ever imagine I would return during such a terrible war.

“During my talk and video presentation, we will discover lesser-known aspects of Ukrainian history, hear music that is off the beaten path, and talk about how music is transformed for the listener during wartime.”

The presentation by Earle Hobart forms part of the Music Talks series at the Laidlaw Music Centre and will take place on Wednesday 22 February at 2.30pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Category Events

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