20:12 26.09.2022

Art festival "Bouquet Kyiv Stage" will for the first time happen outside Ukraine in Oxford

8 min read

Classical music concerts, the celebration of the 85th birthday of the Ukrainian composer Valentyn Sylvestrov, the photo exhibition “War”, Ukrainian film screenings, music performances, public talks and more.

The Bouquet Kyiv Stage Festival is a centrepiece of cultural life in Kyiv every summer and 2022 was no exception. The Festival took place on a more limited scale than usual but with great resonance and beauty in the magnificent setting of the eleventh-century Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom (Svyata Sofya), a building which itself reflects Ukraine’s history and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This year the Festival not only continued to be celebrated in Kyiv but is taking place outside Ukraine for the first time, in Oxford from 28 September to 1 October.

The Bouquet Kyiv Stage Festival coming from Kyiv to Oxford on this occasion, takes place as a part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture devised jointly by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute, giving voice to Ukrainian creatives and focusing on the changing needs and priorities of the Ukrainian cultural sector, and also opens the Ukrainian Culture Weeks 2022 initiative that was launched by Cherwell College Oxford, Oxford University Ukrainian Society, and Ukrainian Cultural Centre Dom Master Klass with the aim of supporting Ukrainian culture and heritage.

Helen Clarke, Vice Principal of Cherwell College Oxford says: “During the most challenging period for Ukraine since its independence, Bouquet Kyiv Stage Festival offers opportunities to celebrate and honour Ukraine’s rich culture and heritage. We feel a deep sense of unity with the people of Ukraine and feel that it is our duty to support the unique culture of Ukraine”.

Ruslan Pavlyshyn, President of Oxford University Ukrainian Society says: “Our Society is deeply proud to welcome the annual Ukrainian Seasons to Oxford. Ukrainian Culture Weeks is a unique opportunity to promote Ukraine’s cultural and intellectual heritage in the United Kingdom. As a centre of knowledge and free speech, we believe Oxford is the ideal venue to celebrate our shared values of democracy and freedom”.

The main message of Bouquet Kyiv Stage in Oxford – Gratitude from UA to the UK.

“Great Britain was among the first countries in the world to express its stance clearly and uncompromisingly in an unprovoked cruel war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. It has been providing invaluable support to Ukraine since day one of the war. The festival is intended as our gift of gratitude to British People and support to Ukrainian Culture”, - says Ukrainian Cultural Centre Dom Master Klass, the organiser of Bouquet Kyiv Stage.

David Codling, Director of the UK/Ukraine season says: The British Council and our Ukrainian Institute partners began planning the UK Ukraine Season two years ago but its purpose, despite very changed circumstances, is the same: exploring many facets of cultural exchange between our two countries and looking to the future. That the Bouquet Kyiv Stage Festival was presented in Ukraine in the summer of 2022 was an act of beautiful defiance, and that the Festival is being presented outside Ukraine for the first time is a signal of resolution and hope. The association of Bouquet with the UK Ukraine Season reflects our shared values and we are proud to be working alongside our Ukrainian partners in the tribute to Maestro Valentyn Sylvestrov which will be one of the high points of this rich and varied programme.”

Tetyana Filevska, Creative Director of the Ukrainian Institute stated: “Bouquet Kyiv Stage is an exceptional festival for Kyivites: with deep curatorial expertise in programming and an atmosphere that has gathered around it a circle of devoted supporters. The combination of music, visual art and educational formats allows one to learn and experience Ukrainian culture in its entirety. Usually held in St. Sophia Cathedral, the cultural pearl of Kyivan Rus, the festival for the first is taking place overseas, in Oxford, Great Britain — which especially emphasizes the close cooperation between our two countries at this difficult time. A special event of the festival is the celebration of the anniversary of the living legend of modern Ukrainian music, the composer Valentyn Sylvestrov, who will personally attend the concerts and talk to the audience.”

The city of Oxford is an extraordinary and meaningful place to celebrate the festival. Oxford is the city of knowledge and free speech, the place where democratic human values have originated as well as have been declared and brought to life. These are the values Ukraine is fighting for today.

Bouquet Kyiv Stage Festival will take place at the following Oxford venues: The Sheldonian Theatre, Christ Church Cathedral, Holywell Music Room (Wadham College), the Levine Building (Trinity College), and Oxford Town Hall.

UK/Ukraine Season and Ukrainian Culture Weeks 2022 are proud to collaborate with Bouquet Kyiv Stage, in presenting a rich and varied programme of Ukrainian music. The festival's highlight will be the celebration of the renowned Ukrainian Maestro Valentyn Sylvestrov, Ukraine’s best-known living composer, marking his 85th birthday with us in Oxford in person on September 30. Valentyn Sylvestrov will be an honoured guest of the festival, and his choral and piano works will be featured in the programme.

The festival programme includes:

- 7 concerts of classical music among them:

  • September 28, the opening concert, music of Valentin Sylvestrov performed by the Kyiv Chamber Choir.
  • 30th September, the British choir Apollo5 will perform two world music premieres of Ukrainian composers Victoria Poleva and Anna Kuzina-Rozhdestvenska.
  • 30th September The Grand Concert of the Orchestra of St John’s, conducted by John Lubbock at one of the most celebrated venues in Oxford – the Sheldonian Theatre. The Kyiv Chamber Choir and Ukrainian leading violinist Bohdana Pivnenko will join the Orchestra of St John’s for the Grand Concert.

- Exhibition “War” from the documentary photographer Oleksandr Glyadelov’s work. Photographs were taken by the artist in Irpin, Bucha, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and other ruined cities of Ukraine. Glyadelov's works have been featured on the world's leading publications and media covers.

- “Face the Future” is a music performance staged by the innovative Ukrainian fashion designer Fedir Vozianov


- Key speaker at the Public Talks lecture series will be Nelia Kykovalska, the General Director of Ukraine's main museum complex and the UNESCO World Heritage Site: St.Sophia of Kyiv National Reserve.



The Full programme is displayed at https://www.cherwell-college.co.uk/events and https://bouquetstage.com/oxford

Ticket prices: £10-£40, free for Ukrainian refugees.

Various events in Oxford city centre.

Keep up to date with “Bouquet Kyiv Stage in Oxford” Festival news by signing up for the newsletter or by following on:

Website https://bouquetstage.com/oxford

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bouquetstage, https://www.facebook.com/cherwell.college/




Bouquet Kyiv Stage – Ukrainian Art Festival organised by Ukrainian Cultural Centre Dom Master Klass. The festival is annual, international, non-profit and social. The festival unites music, theatre, literature, cinema and visual art. Bouquet Kyiv Stage traditionally takes place in National Reserve Sophia Kyivska - the sacred heart of the Ukrainian capital. At the beginning of August 2022, Bouquet Kyiv Stage was held in Kyiv in the state of war.


Cherwell College is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school in Oxford. The college supports Ukrainian artists and musicians – and initiated the festival in Oxford. The idea of the Ukrainian Culture Weeks in Oxford was inspired by the necessity to celebrate and honour Ukrainian culture and heritage, ensuring that due respect and acknowledgement is being given to a country defending the European values of Democracy and Freedom.

Oxford University Ukrainian Society has promoted Ukrainian culture and intellectual heritage within the University of Oxford since 2004.


About the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture (ukuaseason.org) A collaboration between The British Council and the Ukrainian Institute, the UK/Ukraine Season will be presented in the UK, online and across some satellite locations until March 2023, featuring artist residencies, talks, film, music, literature, drama and dance. The season, which has been planned since 2019 to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Ukraine, aims to strengthen and build cultural connections between both countries, while providing new platforms and opportunities for Ukrainian artists to connect with the UK. With the ongoing war in Ukraine, the season’s theme is ‘Future Reimagined’, focusing on the changed needs and priorities of the Ukrainian sector, giving a voice to Ukrainian creatives, both in the UK and online. More information: ukuaseason.org 


About the British Council (britishcouncil.org.ua) The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021-22 we reached 650 million people.


About the Ukrainian Institute (ui.org.ua) The Ukrainian Institute is a public institution affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Its mission is to strengthen Ukraine’s international standing through the means of cultural diplomacy. The Institute facilitates international connections between people and institutions and creates opportunities for Ukraine to interact and cooperate with the world.


Photos provided by the press service of Bouquet Kyiv Stage: https://cutt.ly/nCcFc6d

Posters provided by the press service of Bouquet Kyiv Stage: https://cutt.ly/MVOjzAr