Yevhen Stankovych composer
Witold Lutosławski composer
Valentyn Silvestrov composer
Myroslav Skoryk composer

Myroslava Khomik violin
Fureya Unal piano
James Lent piano

Release Date: August 11, 2023
Catalog #: NV6536
Format: Digital
20th Century

Ukrainian violinist Myroslava Khomik highlights the eternal power of standing for freedom and defiance against oppression in PROTEST, an album featuring the music of four key representatives of 20th century composers from Ukraine and Poland. Expressing strength and resilience through the beauty and search for truth, PROTEST taps into the spiritual essence of human existence and vigilance in the midst of its disruption.

This music is equally representative of the nation’s history of suffering and protest, as well as it is timely in the world of today.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Ukrainian Poeme Yevhen Stankovych Myroslava Khomik, violin; Fureya Unal, piano 8:43
02 Partita for Violin and Piano: I. Allegro Giusto Witold Lutosławski Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 4:20
03 Partita for Violin and Piano: II. Ad Libitum Witold Lutosławski Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 1:35
04 Partita for Violin and Piano: III. Largo Witold Lutosławski Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 6:13
05 Partita for Violin and Piano: IV. Ad Libitum Witold Lutosławski Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 0:49
06 Partita for Violin and Piano: V. Presto Witold Lutosławski Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 4:13
07 Post Scriptum Sonata for Violin and Piano: Largo-Allegro-Allegretto Valentyn Silvestrov Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 10:15
08 Post Scriptum Sonata for Violin and Piano: Andantino Valentyn Silvestrov Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 4:34
09 Post Scriptum Sonata for Violin and Piano: Allegro Vivace Valentyn Silvestrov Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 4:19
10 Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1: Andante-Allegro Molto-Andante-Largo e Grave Myroslav Skoryk Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 6:16
11 Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1: Largo Myroslav Skoryk Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 2:51
12 Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1: Allegro Molto-Andante-Allegro Fantastico Myroslav Skoryk Myroslava Khomik, violin; James Lent, piano 6:18

Recorded June 6-7, 2015 at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Jan Popper Theater in Los Angeles CA
Session Producer & Engineer Laszlo Mezo Productions
Editing & Mixing Laszlo Mezo

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Danielle Sullivan

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Aidan Curran

Artist Information

Myroslava Khomik

Myroslava Khomik


Ukranian violinist Myroslava Khomik brings her love of music-making not only to the prestigious concert halls and festivals around the world, but also to the curation and collaboration of multimedia projects. Known for her “virtue of musical sensitivity and beautiful emotion” (Saigon Times), Khomik is passionate about innovative programming, mixing different art forms, and looking for depth beyond creative expression. She regularly participates in premieres of new works, and initiates new commissions inspired by the subjects she feels are particularly important in today’s world. After her tour in South America in 2018 presenting an all-Ukrainian composers program, Khomik was awarded a New Artist of the year prize in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was featured on various TV and radio broadcasts in the United States and abroad.

Füreya Ünal


Füreya Ünal was born in Istanbul where she started playing the piano at the age of 3. Her formal music education began when she was 5 years old at Istanbul University State Conservatory. In 1996, Ünal was granted her bachelor’s degree from Istanbul Conservatory. She has also been awarded two masters degrees. Her first masters was granted from Istanbul Conservatory, her second from the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main.

During her education, Ünal studied with Irina Zaritskaya, Mikhail Voskresenski, Anatol Ugorski, and Leontina Margulis. Throughout 1995 and 1996, she studied in Monaco with Hüseyin Sermet at the Monaco Music Academy.

Ünal is a member of faculty at California State University Fullerton and Orange County School of the Arts. She has given a number of concerts and recitals in Turkey, Germany, Monaco, France, Bulgaria, Portugal, and the United States. She was a recipient of Cultural Exchange Fellowship in 2012 given by Turkish Cultural Foundation to give concerts and master classes in The People’s Republic of China. She was the founder, artistic director, and pianist of the new music ensemble Divan Consort. The group has released their first album, Refuge on Albany Records, which was awarded with Gold and Silver Medals by Global Music Awards.

James Lent


Pianist James Lent has been on the faculty of the UCLA School of Music since 2009 where he is the head of Collaborative Piano serving as Continuing Lecturer, teaching Piano Literature and Collaborative Piano. He is also on the Principal Music Faculty at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Hollywood where he is the head of collaborative pianists, directs music, and coaches vocalists.

Lent received the Doctor of Musical Arts in solo piano at Yale University and is also the Principal Organist at Knox Presbyterian Church in Pasadena. Lent has also been on the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, the Napa Music Festival, and the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.

Lent has also performed concertos with the Torrance Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, the Nanjing Philharmonic, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Utah Symphony, the Indianapolis Chamber, the Florida West Coast Symphony, and the Alabama Symphony, where he performed on 24-hours’ notice to replace Andre Watts in Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2. Lent is comfortable in all styles including classical, popular, broadway, and jazz.


The idea of PROTEST as an album was born during the “Maidan” protests in Kyiv in 2014 — the time we now consider as the start of modern Ukraine’s stance for its freedom from the centuries of its brutal neighbor’s oppression — the epic fight for democracy and peace in the 21st century. The music I chose here was a personal way of expressing all of the feelings many of us were trying to communicate at the time with the surrounding world: a cry out for attention to the horrific developments, and the Ukrainian people’s attempts to prevent more devastation from happening. Seeing the violence against innocent people standing up for their culture, history, and peace in their homeland, is a heart-wrenching sight. Yet, the disbelief and almost paralysing horror of the full-scale war and genocide being committed in Ukraine today, became a global tipping point. Several years after crafting this album, its official release today is quite symbolic as well as cathartic.

Music of the 20th century from the Eastern Bloc was one of the very few resources for expression of thought and opinion, yet significantly powerful. Artists and creatives were often deemed as “enemies of the people” and feared government dictatorship in every aspect of their work. The ever perfecting ways of censorship and silencing of the outspoken knew no limits.

In this thematic deep dive the music speaks more truth than any words could express. It sheds light on the struggle, resilience, and hope of survival after the most vicious atrocities against humanity of this time period. This music is equally representative of the nation’s history of suffering and protest, as well as it is timely in the world of today.

The three leading 20th century Ukrainian composers — Yevhen Stankovych, Valentyn Silvestrov and Myroslav Skoryk — represent a culture and history close to my heart. Coming from different regions and compositional schools in Ukraine, together they have been shaping and continually inspiring the new direction of Ukrainian music and its independence from the historical shadows of previous eras. They each draw on their predecessor’s experiences and discoveries as well as pioneering their new unique and individual styles.

The fact that Ukraine is not the only nation victimized by the Soviet regime deserves significant attention. Witold Lutoslawski, Polish by heritage and largely expressing the pride of his people standing for freedom, is essentially a spiritual brother to any of the composers who fearlessly suffered for the same values. His music embodies the idea of unity in this kind of protest.

Each of the pieces highlight a unique way of expressing the strength and resilience of standing against oppression, violence, and attempt to silence human freedoms — while reminding the listener of the contrasting ideals of beauty, peace, and spiritual essence of human existence in the midst of its disruption.

— Myroslava Khomik

Coming from the Zakarpatska region of Ukraine (the name of the region stands for “behind the mountains” — Karpathian mountains, which is known for its beauty and unique folk culture), Evhen (Yevhen) Stankovych followed in the footsteps of Ukrainian music legends, and was able to attend both Lviv and later Kyiv Conservatories. He developed a unique style, paying special attention to combining Ukrainian folk elements with new and modern sounding harmonies as well as other compositional elements. In comparison to some of the other Ukrainian modern composers, the musical approach of Yevhen Stankovych is less populist, yet the drama that he expresses comes through the clashing of the easily recognizable folkloric elements and more sophisticated compositional complexities, such as simultaneous traditional and new polyphonic structures. On one level his music is simple to understand and define melodically — it is not excessive in any way, which allows its accessibility and engaging nature to always be the main perspective.

On the other hand, his language is complex, lush, and deeply evocative. Stankovych worked extensively in many genres, such as chamber works, orchestral music, opera, ballet, and theater music. Because of his special interest in ballet and theater, his works are often programmatic and in their titles frequently carry a certain cultural or historical reference. He experiments with symphonic forms, unusual combinations of instruments (in both large and small ensembles), and with different ways of developing thematic material, allowing for a new approach to expressing his visions of musical image and concept. Reflecting on numerous tragic events throughout his own lifetime and in the last century, Stankovych wrote a number of pieces commemorating Holodomor (Ukrainian genocide of 1933-34 by starvation), Babi Yar (massive execution of Ukrainian Jews during the War), and the Chornobyl tragedy. He continues to inspire the young musicians and has mentored several generations of Ukrainian composers we know today.

Born in Poland, Witold Lutoslawski lived and composed under both the Nazi and Soviet regimes. He and his family suffered significantly from the oppression and continuous terror against any expressive and artistic freedoms. In his later creative period, when Polish music became more viable in artistic circles, Lutoslawski experimented with 12-tone techniques, as well as aleatory music (“chance”music).

Through its title, Partita reflects Lutoslawski’s homage to the older musical styles and traditions. According to the composer, it is among his most important works. Lutoslawski explains his choice of the title in one of his remarks about the piece:

“The word ‘partita,’ as used by Bach to denominate some of his suite-like works, appears here to point out a few allusions to Baroque music, e.g. at the beginning of the first movement, the main theme of the Largo, and the gigue-like Finale.”

This work presents many modern compositional techniques with some Baroque elements which remain highly idiomatic. Within expressive lyrical sections and traditional rhythm patterns, Lutoslawski uses quarter tones and microtonal passages, which sets the musical and technical contrast. Two of the movements are written independently for violin and piano parts but are played at the same time. There are many elements of a dialogue between the two instruments, as well as the dramatic and contrasting musical gestures that set this work apart from other chamber works for violin and piano. Partita was commissioned by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and premiered by Pinchas Zuckerman and Marc Neikrug in 1985. Because the commission came from the orchestra, originally the composer conceived the piece for violin and orchestra with a significant piano part, but later realized that the commission was for a chamber work, and re-structured it. However, he returned to the idea of orchestrating it and in 1988 wrote a version for violin, piano, and orchestra. In both versions, Partita is one of the top masterpieces for violin and piano, and is a deeply moving musical story.

Valentyn Silvestrov is among the most prominent Ukrainian composers, and is known for his postmodern musical style. Though his earlier works include a number of Avant garde compositions, the majority of his pieces could be considered neoclassical and post modernist. Exhausted from decades of continuing pressure to conform to socialist realism and the fashionable modernism, Silvestrov went into complete artistic seclusion in 1974. In this period he composed Silent Songs (1977), a cycle of short pieces for piano and voice intended to be played in private instead of the traditional public concert setting. This was the beginning of Silvestrov’s new and highly intimate style, later resulting in his famous Symphony No. 5, Dedication for violin and orchestra, among many more successful works that are widely recognized and loved in European modern programming.

In his violin sonata Post Scriptum (1990), Silvestrov creates a mysterious mood, a unique and delicate tapestry of emotional gestures. The sonata belongs to the series of works that are also known as the “quiet cycle.”

“I do not write new music. My music is a response to, and an echo of what already exists,” Silvestrov explained. The composer often uses musical references to the Romantic and Classical Eras, which is the connection to the “past.” He then combines these elements with the sense of reality, the “present,” expressed by a significant amount of silent pauses, and a multitude of tempo changes. Silvestrov focuses on one moment a state between silence and sound and invites the listener to focus on these transitions by increasing the length of pauses, reducing the dynamics to a minimum, and even starting the piece with the drawn out “silent” bowing in the violin part. This creates a slow motion effect, demanding the listener's attention and inspiring a deep state of reflection. Post Scriptum is written in three movements, but they are performed attacca style creating a continuous meditative flow. Each movement highlights unique melodies presented in both parts throughout the piece, creating a serene and almost ethereal musical dialogue with one another.

Myroslav Skoryk, one of the most unique modern Ukrainian composers, leaves a wealth of musical heritage in its widest spectrum of genre and style. Growing up in Siberia away from his beloved city of Lviv, he was in exile from the age of 9 with his family, but he never gave up on his passion for music, and for his native Ukraine, which he managed to return to alive and at a young age.

Skoryk is known for his unique ability to distill a modern style inspired by the Western music traditions, with clear implementation of Ukrainian folk music idioms and jazz elements. Among his works for violin are nine concertos, two sonatas, and numerous concert pieces. His Violin Sonata No. 1 was written in 1963. It displays an unparalleled modern approach to referencing rhythms and harmonies that are derived from traditional folk songs and dances most characteristic to the Hutsul region. Hutsuls are one of the oldest ethnic groups among Ukrainian historic settlements located mainly in the region of Carpathian Mountains in Western Ukraine. They are known for their deeply rooted and vibrant traditions that remain well-preserved and significantly influential in shaping Ukrainian identity in its Western regions.

The Sonata displays a great variety of modern compositional writing, yet the vibrant melodies and rhythms that are in the core of this work make it musically accessible and intriguing. The first movement is rich in its melodious nature, inviting us into its beauty of simplicity and lyricism. The second movement presents elements of recitative and conversation between the piano and the violin, and are at times unpredictable with its harmonies and rhythmical gestures. The Sonata’s finale breaks free into a direct reference to the whirling and enigmatic Hutsul dances, ascending into an exciting conclusion of perpetual energy and drawing us into a deep history, modernity, and curiosity.