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Valentin Silvestrov

Composer in Residence


Valentin Silvestrov, born in 1937, was one of the leading representatives of the »Kiev avant-garde« in the 1960s, which proponents of conservative Soviet musical aesthetics had strongly criticised at the time. He countered the restrictive view of a »socialistic realism« with his own innovative impulses, for which he garnered widespread recognition outside of the Soviet Union.

Around 1970, Silvestrov embraced a fundamental shift in style. He renounced the radically agitative techniques of the avant-garde, and has since gravitated to a post-modern style which he himself describes as »Meta Music« (in other words, music about music). The works he composes today are predominantly delicate and elegiac; they thrive on emotional chords reminiscent of Mozart, Chopin and Mahler. »My music is a response to and an echo of what exists,« explains the composer, a resonance often without a concrete beginning or end. Music which opens the spaces of auditory perception and flows into silence.