Solidarity for Ukraine

HKB is currently seeking ways to provide support for affected students and lecturers.

The heinous war against Ukraine is also causing great concern to us at the HKB. We are facing a great challenge unknown to us: war in Europe, on our doorstep, people affected by war among us, powerlessness and despair. Solidarity is wide spread at the HKB, especially with regard to our students and lecturers from Ukraine and Russia. 
We are currently seeking ways to provide psychological and organizational support for affected students and lecturers. Artists from war torn areas are to be accepted as students in more simplified ways. Solidarity concerts by the HKB Music department are being organized. Partner organisations are offering studio spaces for refugee artists. All these actions are in progress and will be published on this page. 
The hope remains that the war will end soon. 


We wanted to create a space for statements from the HKB on the current situation in Ukraine and published individual statements from students, alumni*ae and newly enrolled Ukrainian students here:

Yanqiao Shi, baritone, HKB Alumnus Dani Yang, piano

The Project

The recent situation forces me to look at our world from a different perspective. Is this a world we as humans want? What has gone wrong? What should we do? In our positions as musicians and artists I am left wondering what attitude must we show to this world? My response is these two songs to express the cruel destruction of war and my desire for peace. In our positions as musicians and artists I am left wondering what attitude must we show to this world? My response is these two songs to express the cruel destruction of war and my desire for peace. The World Feels Dusty is the fourth song in Copland's Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson song cycle. This song tells the cruel side of war, and the poet wants to minister to the dying – to ease the thirst and apply a soothing balm. It is a hymn and a call: If you care for the dying, be there for them. Morgen! ("Tomorrow!") is the last in a set of four songs composed by Richard Strauss, the text is written by John Henry Mackay. This song tells that the singer/poet will be reunited with their beloved tomorrow, and they will immerse themselves in peaceful bliss. Through this song I want to tell people that don't give up hope for the future, the sun will rise as usual tomorrow, and we and our beloved will reunite again one day. 

The Artist

Chinese baritone Yanqiao Shi is a holder of two Master degrees (opera and classical music) from the Bern University of the Arts under the teaching of Prof. Christian Hilz. He also graduated from the International Opera Academy (IOA) and hones his skills under the tutelage of Guy Joosten and Hein Boterberg in Belgium. From 2015 to 2021, he appeared in several productions such like "La Traviata", "Gianni Schicchi", "Così fan tutte", "Die Zauberflöte", "Don Pasquale", "Carmen","Don Giovanni" etc. in Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium. In 2022, he returns to his home country and held a number of concerts. 

Dani Yang graduated from the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in music composition. She studied film music scoring with famous New Zealand composer John Pasthas. Her representative compositions are "Light of City", "living like Water", "Night of Stars", etc. In 2020, she won the gold award in the original works category of the Asia-Pacific International Youth Cloud Piano Competition, and in the same year she won the silver award in the original category of the 29th American Open Music Shandong Regional Competition. 

z5igo, HKB Student Master Music Composition – Creative Practice 

The Project

By recombining Volodymyr Zelenskyy's speeches during the Ukrainian war and Taras Shevchenko's poems I wanted to approach the question of whether a zelenbot2dialogical system can be a work of art. Zelenbot pendulates between Zelenskyy's heavy but responsible answers and Taras Shevchenko's poetic splinters. This combinatorial uses temperature indices from the finetuning of the got-2 natural language processor. A contextual audio-visual system composes the experience, based on generative algorithms from hydra and tone.js. Check it out here.

The Artist

In my recent work I have thought about microsound, feedback , D.I.Y. and chemical instruments, as well as edge towards computer based music like dynamic interactive scores, mobile interfaces and performance/installation pieces. JCP Composition National Prize 2017. I studied at UNLP with Mariano Etkin andwith Gandini, Kagel, Schnebel, Aperghis, Furrer, Haas, Czernowin, Saunders in different encounters. Commissions and awards from Fondo Nacional de las Artes, UCLA-REMAP, Centro Cultural de España, Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, Cultural Promotion Council Buenos Aires, Conseil des du Arts et des Lettres de Quebec, Fundación Telefónica, Melos/Gandini, Colon Theatre. Active composer in Impuls 13-15, IMD 14-16-18, Tzlil Meudcan 2014. As curator I founded conDIT and Container platforms.

Daria Akulova, HKB Student Master Specialized Music Performance – Opera

The Project

My video is a message for all of us. We must be strong and stick together as best we can. This is a terrible tragedy for all my people and our nation. We will never forget.

The Artist

Daria Akulova was born in Dnepropetrovsk in 1998. From the age of 5 she studied at the Children's Musical Theatre "Golden Key" (under the Theatre of Drama named after Maxim Gorky). At the age of 8 I entered the Musical School and studied singing and piano, sang in the choir. At the age of 12 sang onstage at the Dnepropetrovsk Opera and Ballet Theatre with the symphony orchestra. In 2011 she won the Grand Prix at the «Ясарава Країна» in Odessa competition and sang on the stage of the Odessa Opera Theatre. In 2015, she opened the Main Christmas Tree of the country on Sofievskaya Square in Kiyv to the symphony orchestra. In 2015, entered the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine. 2020 she has been an active participant in master classes of leading Ukrainian opera singers, in particular Susanna Chakhoyan, Iurii Samoilov and Olga Kulchinskaya. In January 2021 she recorded the soundtrack for a full-length Ukrainian film Shchedrik, directed by Olesya Morgunets-Isaenko. In February 2021 she made her debut at the Tchaikovsky Opera Studio of NMAU. In 2021 took part in the master class of "Raina Kabaivanska School" and also sang the final concert with the orchestra at the Opera House in Sofia.

Polina Pieskova, HKB Student, Bachelor Art Education

The Project

In this video I wanted to share my personal experience during war and with the help of it I hope to encourage people to tell their own stories, as every experience is unique and important. 

The Artist

Polina Pieskova is a student, was a freshman at Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Fine Arts (KSADA) before the war, now continues studying at HKB. She's a graphic designer/Illustrator. 

Composer: Andrei Maksimov, HKB Student Master Specialized Music Performance – Opera; Singer: Mira Alkhovik, HKB Student Master Specialized Music Performance – Opera; Piano: Alla Belova (Lucern Music Academy)

The Project

In the beginning of March war still didn’t finish, I felt a strong sadness. Boris Pasternak's poem “February” coincided completely with my feelings, accurately reflecting the state at the end of February, when the invasion began. This song is written in classical St. Petersburg romance style and sounds completely different, quiet and full of regret. Performed by Mira Alkhovik (HKB) and Alla Belova (Lucern Music Academy).

The Artists

The baritone Andrei Maksimov graduated as an opera singer in St. Peterburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in 2012. While studying Andrei became a soloist of the Mariinsky theatre Young singers academy. In 2019 studied in Italy with M. Devia, N. Martinucci, M. Pertusi in Opera singers academy of the Luciano Pavarotti theatre in Modena. In 2021 Andrei has taken part in Berlin Opera Academy Opernfest in Switzerland, where interpreted Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus) and covered Papageno (Die Zauberflöte). Same year he won 3. Premie of 8th George Enesco Competition (Paris). As a MA student of Swiss Opera Studio HKB, performed Flemish deputies (Don Carlos) in Basel Opera Theatre in 2022. From season 22/23 soloist of L'Opéra Studio de l'Opéra National du Rhin (Strasbourg). In his work, Andrei Maksimov is not only a singer but also a composer.

Mira Alkhovik was born in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, and played violin for 12 years before she began her studies in vocal performance at St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. On her 5th year of studies she spent a year in University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (prof. Elena Pankratova). From September 2021 she makes her MA Opera performance studies in Bern Academy of Arts. Mira sang her first major role in "Der Schauspieldirektor" at the Opera and Ballet Conservatory theatre at the age of 20. In July 2021 Mira made her debut in PAMINA in "Die Zauberflöte" by Mozart on "OperaFest" in Kandersteg, Switzerland (Berlin Opera Academy). In season 22/23 Mira is performing AMOUR in Orphée et Euridice by Gluck and ANNA in Nabucco by Verdi in Biel Solothurn Opera Theatre (Switzerland). In August 2022 participating in aria and song concerts of Verbier Festival.

Artistic Statement by Two Opera Students

Two concerned students have written, composed and filmed a song as a very personal contribution. We would like to draw the attention to this artistic statement by our students. Deliberately any names are mentioned.