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Taylor Davis-Van Atta

A Conversation with Victoria Polevá

A Conversation with Victoria Polevá

A feature by Taylor Davis-Van Atta

In the late 1990s, Ukrainian Victoria Polevá abandoned her own successful career as an avant-garde composer of polyphonic music in pursuit of the “absoluteness of renunciation, the pureness of an experiment.” Interweaving sacred and secular texts and musical traditions from a wide variety of eras, Polevá has since defined herself as one of Eastern Europe’s most original composers whose works are routinely performed by leading ensembles and soloists around the globe. In 2005, the world-famous violinist Gidon Kremer included Polevá’s “Warm Wind” in his concert cycle Sempre Primavera. Speaking here “completely unarmed, impoverished, down to zero” from amid the burning tumult of Kiev, Victoria Polevá addresses her daring evolution as a composer, the origins of her passion, the nature of collaborating with Kremer, and sorrow as a creative act. Music & Literature is honored to present the first English-language interview with Ukrainian composer Victoria Polevá . . .