Ukrainian student charts a concert to benefit his homeland

The Frost Choir will perform during Friday's United for Ukraine benefit concert. Photo courtesy Frost School of Music
By Ashley A. Williams

The Frost Choir will perform during Friday's United for Ukraine benefit concert. Photo courtesy Frost School of Music

Ukrainian student charts a concert to benefit his homeland

By Ashley A. Williams
The Frost School of Music will present musical selections—featuring faculty members along with students, alumni, and special guest artistic director Marina Radiushina—to raise money for humanitarian aid for Ukraine on Friday, April 1.

As the conflict in Ukraine endures, Dmytro Gnativ sat in his Miami apartment thinking of ways he could help his family and others affected by the tragedy. 

A passionate musician and advocate for his home country, Gnativ approached his mentor, Jennifer Grim, an associate professor of flute in the Frost School of Music, with the idea of a benefit concert. Subsequently, she presented the idea to Frost School of Music dean Shelly Berg, and the concert began to take shape.

Dmytro Gnativ
Dmytro Gnativ

Gnativ’s parents, sister, nieces, and nephew call Sambir, a smaller city in western Ukraine near Lviv, home. Gnativ said that, thankfully, there hasn’t been much destruction where his family is located, but they see and hear air strikes every day and fear that the bombs are getting closer and closer. “They never feel like they are safe; they are constantly living in fear,” he said.

“This idea was two weeks ago, and here we are ready to go,” said Gnativ, who’s pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. “I felt like I needed to do something, because I am here all alone while my entire family is there in Ukraine.” 

United for Ukraine will be held in the Frost School of Music’s Gusman Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 1. The Frost School of Music has partnered with Nova Ukraine, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The concert is free to attend and registration is suggested. If you are unable to attend in person, you can livestream the concert, where a link will be visible for those who wish to contribute. All donations will go directly to support relief efforts.

Program highlights include the Ukrainian National Anthem and Valentin Silvestrov’s “Prayer for Ukraine” performed by the Frost Choir; Julie Gold’s “From a Distance” performed by Berg, piano, and Kim Josephson, baritone; and Jason Robert Brown’s “Hope” performed by Berg, piano, and Katie Oberholtzer, vocals. Miami Chamber of Music Society and Mostly Mozart Miami artistic director Marina Radiushina, a Ukraine native and pianist, is slated to perform as well. 

“I’m really thankful for the support of the University of Miami and all of the Frost Music team,” said Gnativ. “Everyone has been so supportive.” 

Gary Wood, director of Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Management, was brought on by Berg to organize the event. He is elated to be a part of such a wonderful cause and proud to guide Gnativ with putting this concert together.

“Dymtro is a marvelous young man and musician and helping him realize this important dream is on everyone's mind,” said Wood. “I am in admiration of musicians that have used this remarkable ability of music to make a positive lasting difference and know the faculty members and students performing at the concert will be amazing and make all of us proud.”  

Visit the University’s Events page for more information about this concert.