Chautauqua Women's Club
Taras Filenko


Music, Poetry, and War: A History of Ukrainian Resistance

A musical and poetic journey through three significant periods of Ukrainian history.


$50 per person


This special evening, curated by pianist and musicologist Taras Filenko, will provide a musical and poetic journey through three significant periods of Ukrainian history, revealing the resilience of a culture that has suffered profound repression. Filenko will play music from Ukrainian composers of each period, accompanied by projected images of visual art. Selections of poetry will be recited in Ukrainian and English.


Dr. Taras Filenko is a noted scholar and performer of Ukrainian music.  A graduate of the National Academy of Music in Kyiv, Dr. Filenko went on to serve as a member of the faculty and eventually as Associate Dean of Conducting and Voice.  From the Academy, he was awarded a Ph.D. in historic musicology in 1989, later earning a doctorate in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998.

For over forty years, Dr. Filenko has worked in the fields of History of Music, Ethnomusicology, and Music Performance (piano, organ, and choir directing), successfully combining his work as scholar, teacher, and performer.  He has presented concerts throughout Europe and North America, making numerous media appearances promoting the works of contemporary Ukrainian composers. 

Dr. Filenko is a recipient of Fulbright and Petesh Scholarships. The themes of his academic publications (more than 100) embrace ethnic studies, musical culture and politics, ethnomusicology, and music and poetry.  Together with his mother, Tamara Bulat, he authored The World of Mykola Lysenko: Ethnic Identity, Music Culture and Politics, (2001).  A Ukrainian version of this important work was published in 2009.  Dr. Filenko has participated in numerous musicological conferences and in international symposiums in Austria, Belgium, France, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Russia, Canada, and the United States.

Since the war of Russian aggression against Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, Dr. Filenko has volunteered his talent for numerous lectures and concerts to raise funds for humanitarian relief for the Ukrainian people.  Focusing on the performance of Ukrainian composers, and, when possible, providing talks on the history of Ukrainian musical culture, these events have been highly praised, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Ukrainian charities.  In just the past few months, Dr. Filenko has performed in Pittsburgh, New York City, Sag Harbor, Chapel Hill, San Diego, and other locations.


Jennifer Orchard, violinist, graduate of the Curtis Institute with a master’s degree from The Julliard School, has called Pittsburgh home since 2001. She is a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and is a founding member of the Clarion Quartet, which was formed to present works by suppressed composers. Their first recording, “Breaking the Silence,” on the Naxos label, features music by Jewish composers who suffered exile and execution at the hand of the Nazis. Currently, the Quartet is broadening its scope, exploring other marginalized composers, who have been overlooked and denied the acclaim they deserve. Before moving to Pittsburgh, Orchard was a member of the world-renowned Lark Quartet and recorded extensively on the Arabesque label during her eight-year tenure. Her talent was recognized with an invitation from famed composer/conductor, Marvin Hamlisch, performing with Hamlisch as a guest of honor at the Kuwaiti embassy.  Always up for a challenge, Orchard has branched out, taking up fiddle playing, and has recorded and performed with singer songwriter, Andrew Lipke.