The Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival 2021 in USA

The Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival brings the new music of Ukraine to the United States’ most exciting musical center. UCMF attracts those interested in new music, the intersections of music and contemporary events, and the culture of Ukraine. The festival will be held over three days starting Friday, March 5th to Sunday, March 7th via Musae online platform.

Each day of the festival, concerts will be streamed in high-quality video and you’ll have an opportunity to attend UCMF from the comfort of your home. The Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival is made possible thanks to the generosity and cooperation of Razom For Ukraine, the Ukrainian Institute in Ukraine, and UCMF’s many partners.  Tickets are here.

Streamed from the stages of the Ukrainian Museum, the Kaufman Music Center, and the DiMenna Center on the innovative Musae online platform, the Festival will provide space to hear today’s most exciting Ukrainian music and to contextualize its place within a broader scope of history and society. Each event of the festival will pair thought-provoking commentary by distinguished scholars of Ukrainian history and culture with a performance of works by Ukraine’s leading living composers, surveying Ukraine’s musical triumphs during contemporary independence. The festival showcases Ukraine’s complex and unique contributions through performances and discussions that explore music’s role in contemporary culture.


Voices of the New Millennium

Friday, March 5 at 7:00pm | Stage: Ukrainian Museum of New York

The opening concert will feature a series of composers from Ukraine’s youngest generation. These young artists show a diversity of approaches to contemporary music in Ukraine today from noise music and extended techniques (Kobzar, Loginov) to cartographic compositional techniques (Shliabanska) to a series of post-modern approaches (Sierova, Mocanu, Kolomiiets). The work of these young composers is complemented by works by two of Ukraine’s most well-known living composers, Victoria Poleva and Oleh Bezborodko, whose works employ various avant-garde and post-minimalist techniques.

Performed by Yuliya Basis, Caroline Drexler, Helen Newby, Adrianne Munden-Dixon, Carrie Frey, Rita Rovenskaya, Andy Didorenko, Lindsey Eckenroth, Jennifer Gliere, Gleb Kanasevich, Tristan Kasten-Krause, Joanna Mieleszko, Rita Mitsel, Mivos Quartet, Heather O’Donovan, Valeriya Sholokhova, Gerson de la Rosa, and Lucie Vitkova.


The Kyiv Avant-Garde

Saturday, March 6 at 7:30pm | Stage: Kaufman Music Center, Merkin Hall

This evening presents five works by leading composers of Kyiv avant-garde group. In the 1960s, they created music that challenged socialist realism – the only acceptable musical and aesthetic style in the USSR. They maintained contacts with composers in Europe and the US and smuggled books about 12-tone music and scores of the Second Viennese School and Polish modernists, in order to diligently study them and “catch-up with the West.” The result, however, was not a replication of Western European post-war avant-garde, but highly original music, which was valued by the audiences on the other side of the Iron Curtain and scorned by the Soviet ideologues in their native Ukraine.

Performed by Anna Shelest, Mivos Quartet, Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, and Talea Ensemble


Electroacoustic Voices

Sunday, March 7 at 2:30pm | Stage: DiMenna Center, Cary Hall

This concert will present works by composers of all generations of Ukrainian electroacoustic music, including the “nouveau-concrete” music of Svyatoslav Krutykov, “pioneer” of electronic music of the 1960s, pieces by composers from the 1990s and 2000s (Alla Zahaykevych, Ujif_Notfound and Ostap Manulyak) and music by members of the youngest generation who grew up in an independent Ukraine (Anna Arkushyna, Alex Chorny). A wide genre palette of works, including electronic music, works for instruments and electronics, and media art, will allow the listener to feel the individual progress and originality of the modern Ukrainian electroacoustic scene.

Performed by Alla Zahaykevych, Madison Greenstone, Lavinia Pavlish, Valeriya Sholokhova, and Lucie Vitkova, with sound engineering by Gleb Kanasevich.


The festival showcases Ukraine’s complex and unique contributions through performances and discussions that explore music’s role in contemporary culture.

Because this year’s festival will be streamed online due to the on-going COVID 19 pandemic, ticket purchases will provide audience members with a link to the concert that can be accessed as many times as you wish once the broadcast has premiered. Tickets to single events range from $5 to $25.

Visit the official Festival website for more information.

The festival is open to the public and conducted in English.