Theodore Kuchar, principal conductor
Vladyslava Luchenko, violin soloist
The Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, from the medieval city of Lviv, was officially established in 1902. During its first season, the orchestra performed nearly 115 concerts, featuring the symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, symphonic works by Felix Mendelssohn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Antonin Dvorak, Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, Camille Saint-Saëns and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Ruggiero Leoncavallo and Mieczyslaw Karlowicz performed as invited conductors with the Lviv orchestra during its first season.
In 1933, the orchestra became incorporated as the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine and was led by Adam Soltys. He actively worked with the orchestra until 1938. During this period, the orchestra collaborated in performance with prominent composers Maurice Ravel, Bela Bartok and Karol Szymanowski as well as soloists Anton Rubinstein, Ferruccio Busoni, Wanda Landowska, Leopold Godowski, Jacob Milstein, and Eugene Ysaye, among many others.
With the advent of the Soviet regime, the orchestra was led by Isaac Pain. Lviv conductor and composer Mykola Kolessa was also invited to work with the orchestra. During the German occupation, in 1941–1944, the Philharmonic did not operate. In the postwar period, the orchestra had to be re-assembled, which was the joint effort of Isaac Pain, Dionysius Khabal, Nestor Hornytsky and Mykola Kolessa. They resumed work in August 1944.
Some of the world’s greatest musicians have performed with the orchestra since the 1950s, including Sviatoslav Richter, Heinrich and Stanislav Neuhaus, Emil Gilels, Maria Yudina, Moisey Greenberg, Dmytro Bashkirov, David and Ihor Oistrakh, Mstyslav Rostropovich, Yuriy Lysychenko, Mariya Chaikovska, Viktoria Lukyanets, Gidon Kremer, Leonid Kohan, Natalia Gutman, Oleh Polyansky, Dmytro Tkachenko and more. Many of the most prominent conductors in classical music have appeared with the orchestra, including Kirill Kondrashin, Fuat Mansurov, Nathan Rakhlin, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Reinhold Gliere, Yevgeni Mravinsky, Nikolae Popescu, Kurt Masur, Saulius Sondeckis, Theodore Kuchar and Mariss Jansons as well as Ukrainian conductors Stefan Turchak, Fedor Glushchenko, Igor Blazhkov, Roman Kofman, Volodymyr Kozhukhar, Volodymyr Sirenko, Viktor Ploskina, Yuriy Yanko and Victoria Zhadko. After two seasons as the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, Theodore Kuchar was appointed the Principal Conductor of the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine in 2022.
The Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine has toured extensively around the world, including Poland, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and The People’s Republic of China. During the past several seasons, they have completed highly acclaimed recordings for major international labels including Naxos and Brilliant Classics.
Vladyslava Luchenko, violin soloist
Born in 1988 and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine, Vladyslava Luchenko began her musical studies at the age of three and, shortly after, knew that she would become a violinist. Her earliest years were extremely prodigious, supported by several international foundations as well as her primary teacher, Yaroslava Ryvniak. At the age of 11, she made her solo debut with the Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra, performed concerts in the Kremlin, toured throughout Europe and won first prize in an international competition.
With the desire and passion to seek out a greater musical understanding, she left her native Ukraine in 2006 to enter the elite violin class of the famous Zakhar Bron in Zurich. This began her emerging European career, during which she was the top- prizewinner of the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition, the Rahn Music Prize and the David Oistrakh Violin Competition, among others, while receiving special recognition at the Queen Elisabeth of Brussels Competition. Soon after followed opportunities to perform as a soloist with the Luzerne Symphony Orchestra in the Zurich Tonhalle, the Verbier Festival, the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine and National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, as well as numerous solo and chamber music engagements.
She continued her education in Berlin at the Hans Eisler Academy with Stephan Picard for two years, until entering the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, where she was under the supervision of one of the great violinists of our time, Augustin Dumay. These were fruitful years with intensive work and hundreds of performances, including tours to China, India and Puerto Rico. Since arriving in Belgium, Luchenko has had the opportunity to collaborate with numerous orchestras, including the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, with which she made her debut and subsequent solo recordings for the Outhere label—Edouard Lalo – Concertante Works for Violin, Cello & Piano; A Tribute to Ysaye; and Mozart Double Concerti. Supported by the Borgerhoff Foundation, she then dedicated herself to develop her musical skills in a completely new way, growing her understanding of the sound, expression and the role of an artist. She has been a recording artist for Claves Records in Switzerland since 2018. Luchenko performs on a Francesco Gobetti violin of 1710, on loan from a private collection.