Valentin Silvestrov Celebrates 75
Aug. 30, 2012
The Ukranian composer Valentin Silvestrov, who celebrates his 75th birthday on September 30, has produced a remarkable and distinctive body of work. Admired internationally as a representative of the Kiev avant garde in the 1960s, he acquired a new following in the early 70s with a new direction focusing primarily on the "reincarnation" of the melody as a "small window in the wall between modern and classical music." A pioneer of the metamusic compositional style that is at once challenging yet accessible, raucous yet tonal, Silvestrov has only recently seen more performances of his work worldwide. This is due in large part to his association with the Kiev avant-garde, which drew heavy fire from conservative critics of the Soviet music circle. Until that time, Silvestrov's home country of Ukraine largely ignored his work, and when his work was performed there and elsewhere in the west, he was often not allowed to attend the concerts. Dubbed "one of the greatest composers of our time" by friend and colleague Arvo Pärt, Silvestrov states:
It seems to me that music is song in spite of everything, even when it is unable to sing in a literal sense. It is not a philosophy, not a system of beliefs, but the song of the world about itself, and at the same time a musical testament to existence.
Silvestrov's catalog includes symphonies, works for string orchestra, concertos, cantatas, lieder and choral works, chamber music and over one thousand compositions for piano. His creative spirit remains strong and highly active. We offer our hearty congratulations and our wish for many happy returns to a great musician on his 75th birthday!