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Festival Spotlight: Gerdan Music Stands with Ukraine

As Ukrainian-born musician Dr. Solomia Gorokhivska and her husband, Grammy Award winner Dr. Andrei Pidkivka, saw the devastation happening in their homeland, they could help by performing for Stand With Ukraine.

She and her husband co-founded the world music ensemble orchestra, Gerdan, and a few months ago, they participated in a series of performances as a war-relief effort on behalf of the United Help Ukraine.

“It is heartbreaking to see the videos and pictures of destroyed houses, schools, museums, universities, theaters. But even more devastating to see destroyed lives of Ukrainian people: children, women, elderlies,” said Solomia.

“Families are being separated and fleeing their homes to safety. My fellow musicians, especially men, who played in symphony halls and theaters, changed their instruments to military weaponry and went to defend their cities. We could never imagine it could happen to a peaceful European country in the 21st century!” Solomia counts herself lucky to have her mother with her in the United States. She notes the anxiety of those separated from their families in a country in turmoil.

Solomia, who is a recognized performer and educator, arrived to the DC area in 2008 to pursue her doctorate degree in music at Catholic University.

“The diversity, culture and the political scene of the U.S. was amazing. I loved the Washington DC area and explored multiple cultures in one place. The ability to collaborate with musicians from different parts of the world was fascinating!”

After graduating from Catholic University, she performed as a violinist with the National Philharmonic, Washington Choral Society Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony, Washington Concert Opera, American Festival Pops Orchestra, Manhattan Symphonie, and International Chamber Orchestra.

With the devastation and divisiveness in the world right now, Solomia believes music helps bring people together.

“The language of music is universal and that is what makes music a unique art form that unites people of different origin and culture. You do not need to speak the same language to understand each other in music.”

To see Gerdan Music perform live and support the various efforts to Stand with Ukraine, RSVP for our festival on June 25 at the Washington National Cathedral!


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