Ukrainian Dutch Music
by Nastya and Richard

Coming up in 2024!

June 22 World music, a joint performance together with the Syrian Music Friends Collective, a great concert from two different cultures, Podium Doesburg Gasthuiskerk

July  14 (to be confirmed) Verrassend Doesburg

August 25 10th year 10th anniversary Podium Doesburg Gasthuiskerk, Doesburg

September 15 Music festival in Laag-Soeren

November 3 Ubbink Doesburg Jazz, at 'Het Filmuis, Arsenaal Doesburg'

Looking back

July 31

On July 31 we played at the occasion of a volunteer meeting in Elden at Stichting Bazar 54. They collect clothing and various utensils for registered refugees from all countries. Beautiful initiative with inspired people. We could play twice, two sets of 5 songs each, very cozy also with a fine BBQ team.

May 4, a very betautiful ceremony

On May 4, we were asked to provide the musical part for the local May 4 commemoration in Doesburg. Due to the bad weather the location was the Great or Martini Church in Doesburg. We were fortunately on time with everything ready (the change outside to inside was made at 6.30 PM) but thanks to a good technician we could play. It was impressive, this commemoration is so important to keep organizing.

April 26, what a day!

Invited to play on the afternoon of April 26 for the mayor and a company she would host that afternoon in Doesburg. Same question as before, same arrangements so nothing crazy, only it was very vague. Long story short, the company that came was not for the mayor but for me. To my great surprise I was appointed by the Mayor, on behalf of the King of the Netherlands, Knight of the Order of Oranje Nassau. Totally surprised, but also a great honor. And nice that my family and so many acquaintances were there, and also Nastya, who had not heard of such a thing before. Although totally “off the ground,” still played, we were there after all!

Special concert together with the Ruysdael Quartet

Once again we had the honor and pleasure of performing with the well-known Ruysdael quartet on March 17 at a Ukrainian refugee home. It was even more wonderful than the first time (in 2023), because we knew what to expect and vice versa. It was all right! The audience visibly enjoyed it, some were touched by our music, it brought them back home for a moment in their homeland. A beautiful end with some of her countrymen and women, enjoying some special Ukrainian food.

Day of the location managers Ministry of Justice and Security in Amersfoort

Once again on stage on 5 March at a special gathering in Amersfoort, the Day of Site Managers, organised by the Ministry of Justice and Security. Our contact Wilma and her team had organised it very well, which was necessary because the number of visitors was estimated at 450 people. So that would also be our audience during the opening. The technique of the Rijtuigenloods was very competent and we finished installing, soundchecking half an hour after arriving (at 8 o'clock). Also in the audience was the ambassador for Ukraine in the Netherlands. After the opening, Nastya and I were able to meet him which was special, he remembered our invitation for the FAITH CD release but unfortunately could not come then. Victoria Koblenko was the chair of the day and hats off, seemed effortless. Many other great meetings too, from venue managers, co-stand holders (many organisations had their own stands, so did we!) to representatives from the Ukrainian art world, working with Dutch artists.

Cultural education programme for the primary schools in Doesburg

Nastya and I, together with our drummer Jos and technician Lex, visited three primary schools in Doesburg on 28, 29 February and 1 March. With these performances, we wanted to convey to the pupils that music connects and that it does not matter what language you sing in or what country you are in. With music you can make people feel what is in your heart. During the performance, the pupils heard three of our songs, they also got to learn to count in Ukrainian and heard what a dream sounds like for pianist Richard. Three wonderful performances, the children, aged 4 to 12, were so captivated and everything we did they loved.

Tribute concert for Ukraine in Apeldoorn

On stage on 25 February to contribute to a benefit concert in Apeldoorn. The collected money will go towards the purchase of an ambulance for use in Ukraine. A talented singer aged 12 (!) was a very nice moment, a top performer and will achieve a lot more if she continues to shape her singing in this way. Together with violinist Arkadi, we played My Own Mother, which took some getting used to. But the most important thing was being able to play with many musicians for a beautiful cause. We ended by singing the national anthem of Ukraine together

Again Omroep Gelderland

'Omroep Gelderland' invited us on February 23 because of the release of our second CD FAITH. This was really extraordinary, Nastya again told why it is important to play Ukrainian music. It was great and we played 'Flying", live.

CD Release on February 2, 2024

In a very special 2023 in which we were able to perform a lot, we were also able to record our second CD, titled 'FAITH'. The release of our second CD was extraordinary, 90+ people came to Podium Doesburg Gasthuiskerk, such a great atmosphere too and many CD's sold. Interested in the CD, just send me a message.

Blinker Café Kortenhoef, January 24, 2024

A special evening, bit more outside Gelderland. Asked to perform twice during an evening where a host engaged in conversations with some special guests. Fine reception by the organization and what a nice audience. After the performances and conversations a "meet and greet" with the visitors. And interested in both our CDs, which we were happy to sell. A further location also means longer travel, so well after midnight we were back home.

January 8, 2024

At the invitation of the Doesburg municipality, we played at the Gasthuiskerk in Doesburg just after the start of the New Year's reception. Nastya was dressed (first time!) in a traditional Ukrainian dress, beautiful. We were supported by our sound man Lex and it ran like clockwork. Great to be back on stage after a four-week break.  

December 7, two concerts on 1 day!

A nice party for all the volunteers and staff who work for newcomers in the Municipality of Arnhem. Nastya and I provided the musical accompaniment. More than 200 visitors, who were as quiet as a mouse during our performance. Nastya once again sang the proverbial stars from heaven, always a privilege for me to accompany her. Then on to Elst, where we had our 2nd performance that evening.
We played at the 'Geef Licht' event in the Grote Kerk in Elst. Around 200 visitors, including many refugees, enjoyed the performances of 4 different music ensembles. Including us and the Syrian Music Friends Collective. The special music both about recent events in Ukraine and the rousing music from Syria touched the listeners' hearts, as we heard afterwards. The request from the Syrian friends collective to dance together in the church was enthusiastically taken up. Of course, the PG-Elst Houseband was not missing (with whom we jointly played "Give light" by Stef Blok at the end). Astrid Kepers on flute and Henk Kiestra on the organ nicely complemented this event.

Doesburg Jazz

November 5, at Doesburg Jazz, we played for over an hour, together with Jos Gelauf on drums and Michiel Pelgrom on bass. What a wonderful concert it turned out to be. The Filmzaal in the Arsenaal was fuller than full, every square metre occupied and a wildly enthusiastic audience. A standing ovation gave lots of emotional feelings.

Wounded warriors.

On Sunday, Oct. 8, we performed in Doorn for, among others, a number of wounded Ukrainian servicemen. The concert was facilitated by the municipality of Utrechtse Heuvelrug and the Dutch Veterans Institute.
The Ukrainian servicemen present are being treated in the Netherlands at the Military Rehabilitation Center. All songs played were Ukrainian and were immediately recognized by the listeners. This made for a special performance and thus some light in dark times.
It was also a special event for the musical duo themselves. It was the first time Nastya was able to meet military personnel from her homeland who were severely wounded in the war. For Richard, Dutch military veteran, it was a moment to thank these soldiers for their service and to give them the best wishes.

September 16 part 2 of the recordings 

For Nastya and me the conclusion of the recordings of the second album. Recorded four songs together with Jos on drums and Michiel on bass guitar. And Nastya playing in a simulation vibraphone for the song 'I think of you'. I started with the Nord for the e-piano for 'My own mother', then played the other songs on the grand piano. A great day, also strenuous and very tiring. We were very satisfied with our playing after the recordings. John, our recording engineer, helped us super, what a skill and above all very patient, all the space to get the best out of it. And Nastya's sister Anya who - as always - listened in critically and gave good tips. Now we have the preliminary final mix of the first recordings and this second part. Then the CD production can begin. What a great musical adventure, it has already lasted a year and a half! 

Great performance at Lathum 

On 10 September 10, we opened the Friends of the Lathum Church season. A performance where bassist Michiel and drummer Tom accompanied us on a number of songs. We played the stars from the imaginary sky. Everything was right, the songs flowed together beautifully and yet all the space to explain them too, after all, not everyone speaks Ukrainian so well anymore 😁 And the 2nd time I sang a chorus, the same line in four different keys (D, Bm, F#m, A), quite scary.... Luckily, I have Nastya as a vocal pedagogue!
Two sets of about 35-40 minutes, break in between, was necessary too 🫗🧊. Fantastic reception by the board of "The Friends of" and many of their volunteers, it was all good. Super audience, also from Ukraine, great. After the encore a standing ovation 😃, we were all surprised and especially touched by it.

Again on Omroep Gelderland

'Omroep Gelderland' was aware of our playing at the location De Roskam in Rheden, together with the Ruysdael quartet. So invited June 2 to share our impression and able to play 'My own mother', live.

Supporting the opening of the new location for Ukrainian people in Arnhem Zuid

We were asked by the municipality of Arnhem to musically support the opening of a new location for Ukrainian refugees. Apart from the Mayor of Arnhem, the Minister of Housing Hugo de Jonge was also present. Played two sets, was great and the audience very engaged.

Supporting a session of "Vluchtelingenwerk" in Hummelo May 10

Invited by the local organisation of "Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland" we played some of our music in a small but nice church in Hummelo, Gelderland. We shared the musical moments with a large group of Syrian musicians. Great musicians too, and the audience appreciated both kind of music. Important, we decided not to ask for any fee, but suggested to collect for "Vluchtelingenwerk". That was a good idea, they collected about €200. And we were able to sell our CD ☺️ 

An extraordinary May 4 at Giesbeek

The musical journey continues!
A memorable Remembrance Day May 4 in the Martinus Church in Giesbeek NL. Nastya and I did an important part of the music. Unique too, we played in the church and then at the memorial at the cemetery. We played our music with passion. Nastya stole the hearts of the audience and it is a privilege to be her pianist. Every minute we play together, wherever, rehearsing at home, or performing somewhere, it's pure joy.

Regimental Dinner at the Estate Bronbeek on March 9

The musical journey continues!
Invited by the Association of officers of the Regiment van Heutsz we played on March 9 at the annual regimental dinner at the beautiful Bronbeek estate. A great opportunity to perform for Dutch soldiers, especially because Dutch military supports the training of Ukrainian military and Richard is still directly involved as a former officer of this regiment. We got the dining hall completely silent, Nastya sings from her heart and Richard feels her emotion while playing, just like the people in the room. Countless compliments, and CDs sold again. Wonderful evening.

Back on stage in 2023

Back on stage again, in Podium Doesburg. We played January 2 at the local Rotary's New Year's Eve party. Very important to us, the last two months were full of all kinds of other important things, luckily we were able to rehearse every now and then. This evening we  played two sets of four songs, and the response was overwhelming. Many, many compliments, even though we all were a bit shocked by a radio frequency interference caused by a visitor's hearing aid. Nastya sang the stars from heaven (we stood in the glass foyer 😄) and Richard was able to sing with the keys. We are both so good at it, playing with our hearts, with the use of our voice and fingers. Many CDs also sold, in short, we were very satisfied.