European American Music Distributors Company is a member of the Schott Music Group

Valentin Silvestrov at 80

Sep. 01, 2017

Valentin Silvestrov at 80

September 30 marks the 80th birthday of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, who remains one of the world’s most revered and active contemporary composers.

Admired internationally as a representative of the Kiev avant-garde in the 1960s, Silvestrov acquired a renewed following in the early 70’s with a new direction for his music 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.

(Silvestrov's Der Bote "The Messenger" version for piano; Jenny Lin, pno)

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.

In conjunction with his birthday, Silvestrov is feted with performances of his works in concerts across the world and throughout the season, from America to Europe, Russia to Japan. In New York, Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival presents pianist Jenny Lin in a recital on November 12 celebrating the composer’s own meditations on works by Mozart, Schubert, Chopin and others. Silvestrov is currently composer-in-residence in Weimar where the world premiere of his Violin Concerto, featuring the young celebrated violinist Valeriy Sokolov, is eagerly awaited on January 14, 2018.

For more information on Valentin Silvestrov, visit

Valentin Silvestrov
Violin Concerto (2016)
for violin and orchestra