PROKOFIEV, STRAVINSKY, AND SHOSTAKOVICH were the best-known Russian composers of the 20th century, a recognition that probably helped keep the ones who remained in the country alive. Stravinsky moved to Switzerland early on – visiting a summer house in his parents’ native Ukraine while he could – and ended up in Los Angeles by way of Paris. But it was rough sledding for Prokofiev, who quit a self-imposed exile during the 1920s to return to an oppressive regime, and Shostakovich, who never left the country.
|Volodymyr Sirenko and members of the |
National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
Photo: Mykola Swarnyk for New Pathway
“Most Americans don’t know how lucky they are to have been raised in this country,” said the U.S.-born Kuchar. “The repression in the Soviet Union affected every artist and everything those artists created.”