On August 12, the Baltimore Flute Choir performed the world premiere of a poignant flute choir work by Maryland composer Gregory Pascuzzi at the National Flute Association Convention in Chicago, IL. Prayer for Ukraine: (Молитва за Україну): Meditation on a Theme by Mykola Lysenko was composed by Gregory Pascuzzi for the Baltimore Flute Choir in early 2022. Pascuzzi also created versions for full orchestra, trumpet and piano, and horn and piano, all premiered this summer at festivals including Tanglewood and in Hungary. The original hymn, first published in 1885, is considered a patriotic and spiritual anthem in Ukraine. It has long been performed at the closing of regular Orthodox church services as well as major national events.
Listeners will recognize familiar musical quotes from Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and the Ukrainian counterpart of “Taps” in honor of their fallen soldiers and still suffering citizens.
This arrangement will be available through the Baltimore Flute Choir website following the August premiere. Pascuzzi has requested that in exchange for this music, flutists make a generous donation to a Ukrainian relief agency of their choice. You will also find suggested agencies listed at this link on our website: Prayer for Ukraine Project.
A native of Pittsburgh, Gregory Pascuzzi. grew up in a musical family, and began his studies on piano, trumpet, and composition. He served 27 years with the West Point Band and the U.S.Army Field Band in Washington, D.C. where he was solo cornet with the Concert Band, pianist with the Soldiers’ Chorus and Jazz Ambassadors, and Chief Composer/Arranger.
His arrangements and compositions have been commissioned and performed by prominent brass, wind, and string soloists and ensembles including the Baltimore, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, the BBC Big Band and All Souls Orchestra, the Canadian Brass, New York Philharmonic Brass, Washington Symphonic Brass, Capitol Sax Quartet, and major military bands in the United States, England, Australia, and Russia.
Currently a resident of Annapolis, Maryland, Pascuzzi is Composer-in-Residence with the annual Crescendo Summer Institute of the Arts in Sárospatak and Tokáj, Hungary.
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