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Read Anna's interview with the Globe & Mail here
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What is the place of classical music in a time of war? While for many this art form serves as an escape from the chaos of the world, for Ukrainian musicians it has become a tool of resistance against a dark force that aims to annihilate our culture. For world-class pianist Anna Sagalova, an Honoured Artist of Ukraine who evacuated from Kharkiv, sharing the music of her homeland is a lifeline.
In this benefit concert to support the reconstruction of the Kharkiv's Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts damaged by Russian shelling, Sagalova will perform music by Ukrainian composers Mykola Lysenko, Marco Karminsky, Volodymyr Ptushkin, Myroslav Skoryk and Anna Pidgorna. Composer Anna Pidgorna will guide the audience through this rich repertoire and lead an artist talk following the performance.
Anna Sagalova is a Ukrainian pianist displaced from her home in Kharkiv due to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the constant bombardment of her city. She is an Honored Artist of Ukraine and Associate Professor at Kharkiv I.P. Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts.
Anna is an internationally recognized artist and a laureate of many competitions in Italy, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Canada and Germany. She frequently plays as a soloist with symphony orchestras throughout Ukraine under the baton of conductors from Ukraine, the USA, Switzerland, Great Britain, Austria, etc. Sagalova has given concerts at the state radio studio in Bern, the International Museum of the Red Cross in Geneva (Switzerland), the Bösendorfer Hall in Vienna (Austria), the House Museum of F. Liszt, the concert hall in Altenburg in Weimar (Germany), among others. She has taken part in several festivals, including the Days of Ukrainian Culture festival in Poznan (Poland), the International Music Festival in Lubostron (Poland), the International festival of chamber music in Shanghai (China), Kyiv-Music-Fest (Ukraine), and Kharkiv Assemblies (Ukraine). Her performances have been broadcasted on radio and television. She has recorded two compact discs.
In 2016 Anna was elected chairman of the advisory department in the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine's "Council of Young Scientists." She is also a member of the National Cоuncil on issues of cultural and art education under the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. She took part in the creation of laws on higher artistic education: "On education" and "On scientific and technical activity".
Anna is the artistic director of the International competition of musical art "Kharkiv Assemblies", co-founder of the project "Music against cancer", and a producer of multiple events and concerts. She is a jury member in several national and international music competitions in Ukraine. Anna gives piano masterclasses in Ukraine, Spain and the UK. Among her students and graduates are winners of all-Ukrainian and international music competitions.
Anna studied with the People's Artist of Ukraine, T.B. Vyerkina, at the I.P. Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts in Kharkiv and completed a postgraduate course with G. Otto at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar (Germany). She participated in international piano masterclasses in Ukraine, Switzerland, China and France, where she attended classes of the professors K. Steinegger, P. Soubleau (Switzerland), E. Skovorodnykov (Ukraine-Canada), N. Shtarkman (Russia), K. Hellwig, G. Rosenberg, E. Haase, M. Dorrit, G. Otto (Germany), V. Zuponchich (USA), L. Knezhkova-Hassi, (Canada), K. Zera, P. Yansen (France), B. Sokolai (Hungary), Xiao Zong (China).
Displaced from her home in Kharkiv due to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and constant bombardment of her city, Anna Sagalova now lives in the Greater Vancouver area with her son.
The Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts in Kharkiv sustained damages from a missile that hit a neighbouring building in March 2022. Many windows blew out, and the roof was damaged. Over time, cracks began to emerge in the building's structure. The heating and water systems are not functioning. University staff bravely fought to protect the university's instruments amidst heavy shelling, covering windows with plastic and removing portable instruments they could house in their own homes. Nearly 70 grand pianos could not be removed, however, and sustained damage from moisture and temperature fluctuations.
In order to prevent irreversible damage to the instruments and interior spaces, the university has been working to repair the roof, as well as heating and water systems, and to replace the damaged windows. They are also setting up a small concert venue in their basement so they can continue holding artistic events for their students and city residents.
The university has founded the Mystetskyy Allians Charitable Foundation and is working to rebuild the school and support the professors and will be the benefactor of our fundraising efforts.
Official letter from The Kharkiv I.P. Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts
PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT:
MYSTETKYY ALLIANS CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION, UKRAINE
Registration number: 1004801020000088373
Date of registration: 04/06/2021
Address: Ukraine, 61058, Kharkiv, Ivanivska street, 1, room 202
DONATE MORE DIRECTLY BY WIRE TRANSFER HERE: http://num.kharkiv.ua/eng/mystetskyy-allians
Foundation's page with bank transfer info: http://num.kharkiv.ua/eng/mystetskyy-allians
University’s website: http://num.kharkiv.ua/en/
University’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@user-bs6rz9pr4k
Pickle Underground's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@pickleunderground
This event is produced by Pickle Underground in partnership with Canzona Chamber Players.
All proceeds will go to support the Artistic Alliance (Mystetskyy Allians) Charitable Foundation
We would like to thank the Arts & Letters Club, Toronto for donating the use of their hall.
Canzona Chamber Players is an annual classical and jazz chamber music concert series in its 20th year featuring some of Canada's top musicians. The series has been hosted at various venues on Toronto Island and in downtown Toronto.
Founded by Jacob Stoller, Jonathan Krehm and Roger Sharp, we exist and thrive because of the enthusiastic support of the St.-Andrew-By-the-Lake Congregation and the Toronto Island community and our music patrons in the GTA.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to broadcast recitals on our YouTube page, which were recorded to the highest standard. The series has featured Winona Zelenka, Joseph Johnson and Jonathan Crow (TSO), Marie Bérard (COC), 2020 Juno recipient Angela Schwarzkopf, Yosuke Kawasaki and Jessica Linnebach (NACO) and many more.
We thank John S. Gray for audio recording these acoustic performances and Evan Mitchell for video recording, editing and broadcasting them. All performers were paid for their performance. In light of the war in Ukraine, we recently presented two fundraising events.
Click here to learn more and make a donation to Ukraine.
For the past ten years, we have held an annual fundraising concert in memory of Elizabeth Krehm, and to date have raised over $242 000 for the St. Michael's Hospital Foundation.
Click here to learn more and make a donation to St. Michael's Hospital.
Now in our 20th season, 2022-23, we are presenting live events again, beginning with John Kameel Farrah in November.
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We hope to see you soon.
Jonathan Krehm and Canzona Chamber Players