Dallas Symphony and Ukrainian-born piano soloist to perform music by Prokofiev and Aaron Jay Kernis

Posted on: May 20, 2022

“Originally, Ukrainian-born pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk was to play Rachmaninoff’s grandly romantic Second Piano Concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra this week,” writes Tim Diovanni Thursday’s (5/19) Dallas Morning News. “But in light of the war in his native land, Gavrylyuk thought Prokofiev’s optimistic First Piano Concerto would be more appropriate…. Also affecting his decision was the fact that Prokofiev, a 20th-century Russia composer, was born in the now-contested Donetsk region of Ukraine. Led by the DSO’s principal guest conductor Gemma News, the program will also include Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite and American composer Aaron Jay Kernis’ Musica Celestis. Gavrylyuk grew up in a musical family in Kharkiv…. His parents both played accordion and did some conducting. When he was 13, he left Ukraine to study in Australia…. Now based in Australia, where he holds citizenship, Gavrylyuk performs around the world. About a month and a half ago, Gavrylyuk’s father left his home in Ukraine. One day later, his area was heavily bombarded…. ‘It’s just completely shocking and heartbreaking,’ he says…. ‘I think there are very little differences between us human beings … Music manages to be the best diplomat out there.’ ”