Written by Yaro Bihun

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two renowned Ukrainian musicians – cellist Natalia Khoma and pianist Volodymyr Vynnytsky – returned to perform once again in The Washington Group Cultural Fund Music Series here March 25, much to the delight of those attending the concert at the Lyceum in historic Old Town Alexandria who welcomed their performance with standing ovations.

Also honored with an ovation at the beginning of the event was The Washington Group Cultural Fund, when it received the Embassy of Ukraine’s Certificate of Honor from Ambassador Valeriy Chaly, “to certify the great respect and gratitude of the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States to The Washington Group Cultural Fund for the achievement in promoting a positive image and culture of Ukraine in the United States.” The ambassador presented the award to TWGCF co-director Laryssa Courtney.

As indicated atop the concert program, the TWGCF series is produced “in cooperation with the Embassy of Ukraine.” Indeed, the first two TWGCF concerts took place in the Ukrainian Embassy in 1994, as did 25 more of the 273 concerts since then. Accepting the award, Ms. Courtney noted that “Culture is an integral part of diplomacy, and so we look forward to working with you and with the Ukrainian Embassy to show the vibrant and rich cul- ture of Ukraine to the wider Washington metropolitan area.”

Mr. Vynnytsky’s first of nine performances in the TWGCF series was in the second concert of 1994 at the Ukrainian Embassy. And cellist Ms. Khoma joined the pianist, six years later, in her first TWGCF performance in 2000 and then again in 2003.

Their program this year included works by Bach, Chopin, Debussyand Rachmaninoff, as well as Mr. Vynnytsky’s own “Lost Tango” for cello and piano. As noted in the program, both musicians hail from Lviv. Ms. Khoma is an internationally renowned cellist who won first prize at the Lysenko Cello Competition in Ukraine, received top prizes in competitions in
Hungary, Germany and Serbia, and was the first and only Ukrainian cellist laureate of the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. She has performed as a soloist with the Berlin and Moscow radio orchestras, the Belgrade and Budapest philharmonic orchestras, the Ukrainian National State Symphony Orchestra, the chamber ensemble of the New York City Symphony Orchestra and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. She has also had solo recitals in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and other prestigious halls around the world.

Also internationally renowned, Mr. Vynnytsky, a laureate of the Margueritte Long-Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition in Paris, has performed with leading orchestras and appeared in solo recitals in many prestigious concert halls, among them Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Steinway Hall, the Phillips Gallery in Washington, the Great Bolshoi Hall in Moscow and the Theatre des Champs Elysees.

The next TWG Cultural Fund Music Series concert, scheduled for April 22, will feature pianist Serhiy Salov. Additional information about the Cultural Fund may be found at www.twgcf.org.

This article was repinted from The Ukrainian Weekly