Composer Valentin Silvestrov attends Ultima Festival 2022

Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, 84, will be in attendance at his year’s Ultima Festival from 19-23 September. His music will be performed on three occasions during this year’s festival.

Silvestrov’s music received a fresh burst of international attention in March 2022, when he had to flee from Kyiv. Since the invasion he has been living in Berlin. Composers such as Arvo Pärt and Alfred Schnittke have hailed Silvestrov as one of the leading, most important living composers of our time.

Silvestrov was born in Kiev in 1937 and studied the piano at Kiev Evening Music School, then composition, harmony and counterpoint at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. His early experimental orientation meant that his work received official criticism in the Soviet Union and, despite prizes and some prominent champions, recognition in his homeland and beyond was hard won.

You can hear music by Silvestrov at the following three Ultima concerts:

Monday 19/9 at Ekko – Lena Lindgren med gjester
Postludium for violin

Thursday 22/9
Oslo-Filharmonien: Symphony no. 7

Nordic Voices & Gryphon Trio
Music by Silvstrov, Ukranian composer Bohdana Frolyak and Henrik Hellstenius

Music should be so transparent that one can see the bottom and that poetry shimmers through this transparency. (Valentin Silvestrov)

Paul Griffiths wrote in his liner notes: "Time in Valentin Silvestrov's music is a black lake. The water barely moves; the past refuses to slide away; and the slow, irregular stirrings of an oar remain in place. Nothing is lost here”.

BBC’s Andrew McGregor said: “Like so much Silverstov, you don't have to know how or why it works to be deeply affected by it. It feels simple, yet it obviously isn't; it's profoundly beautiful, timeless, and unforgettable”.