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Sharing releases, present and past, to brighten your day. WXXI Classical has its eyes and ears on the latest releases from classical artists working today. When we come across a story or a release we think you might enjoy, we’ll be sharing it with you on CD Spotlight. You’ll learn more about the artists online at WXXI Classical, and you’ll hear selections from these artists on FM 91.5. CD Spotlight shares new releases by artists that you’ll want to know and some by great artists and ensembles that deserve to be in the spotlight again.

CD Spotlight: Poems and Rhapsodies by Solomiya Ivakhiv

Cover of  Solomiya Ivakhiv's Poems and Rhapsodies
Gregory A Toney
Solomiya Ivakhiv's Poems and Rhapsodies

As the war rages on, we shine a spotlight on Ukrainian musicians

The first thing you see when you go to violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv’s website is the simple declaration, “I stand with Ukraine.” And she would: she was born in Ukraine, coming to the United States to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, then getting her DMA at SUNY Stonybrook, while also sitting as concertmaster for both Curtis and Tanglewood Center Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Ivakhiv has made her career in the states, teaching at University of Connecticut, Bard College’s Longy School, as well as regularly working with high schools in outreach programs. But she's maintained her birthplace connection as the Artistic Director and frequent performer with MATI, the Music at the Institute Concert Series at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York City, a position she has held since 2010. There, she’s put together over 100 concerts, including programs featuring Ukrainian women composers and young Ukrainians. These days, her heart is clearly with her homeland.

Ms. Ivakhiv’s newest CD is Poems and Rhapsodies, a collection of violin showcases that includes beloved favorites like Chausson’s Poéme and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending alongside pieces by Ukrainian composers Anatoly Kos-Anatolsky and Myroslav Skoryk, all played with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and conductor Volodymyr Sirenko. The music is powerful and elegant, and Solomiya Ivakhiv’s performance is lyrical and commanding.

Solomiya Ivakhiv was slated to perform in Ukraine on April 1. The concert date is now listed as “to be determined.”

A Strong Memorial baby and Greece Arcadia grad, Julia Figueras was the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI Classical until June 30, 2023 when she retired after more than 26 years of service. She also hosted the award-winning monthly interview/performance show, Backstage Pass.