Ukraine’s greatest, at 85

Ukraine’s greatest, at 85


norman lebrecht

September 29, 2022

Before the Russian invasion, Valentine Silverstrov was just another post-Soviet composer sampling the freedoms of many genres.

Ever since, and following his dramatic escape, Silvestrov has been celebrated across Europe and North America as Ukraine’s finest living composer – which, of course, he is.

Tomorrow, Silvestrov turns 85.


  • william osborne says:

    What is it about music that makes it the chosen art of cultural nationalism?

    • Hayne says:

      Agreed. Goes back to where Aristotle and Plato both agreeing on how music affects the soul. It’s understandable how this can be abused.

    • Tamino says:

      Indeed. All these projections. Music is meant to overcome nationalistic borders and to express our common humanity.

  • Michael Cattermole says:

    Thank you, sir, for your gloriously strange, beautiful and ever so meaningful music. My thoughts and solidarity are with you and your fellow citizens of Ukraine. May peace return to your nation very soon.

  • J Barcelo says:

    I’ve been listening to his 5th Symphony for some 20 years now and it still gives me chills every time. A beautiful, haunting work that should be played everywhere.

    • Graeme Hall says:

      Completely agree. I too have loved his music for years. The 5th Symphony of course, but also pieces such as Metamusik, the Requiem for his wife and much more. Not merely Ukraine’s greatest, Mr Lebrecht, but one of the world’s greatest

      • Maria says:

        Maybe, but I hate to say this as someone from England that I hadn’t heard of him before the Ukraine-Russian war. Beautiful music.

  • RW2013 says:

    Z dnem ​​narodzhennya i dovhykh rokiv zhyttya maestro!

  • Maria says:

    Wasn’t there a symphony of his played at the BBC Proms this year by the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra? Only saw it on the telly and not in person.