|Tag = Conductor: Baley, Virko
Virko Baley was born in Ukraine in 1938, but has spent his creative life in the United States and considers himself a citizen of the world. Multi-lingual and multi-disciplinary, he infuses his music with themes of contemporary and traditional motifs. Shirley Fleming, reviewing a concert of his music, given by CONTINUUM, in the New York Post called his music "vibrant, dramatic, communicative, much of it framed by extra-musical allusions that place it in a solid context." The New York premiere of Concerto No. 1, quasi una fantasia for violin and orchestra had "sonic images memorable enough to take home" according to Village Voice critic Kyle Gann. The release of his Symphony No. 1: "Sacred Monuments" was commented on in ClassicsToday by David Hurwitz as "Powerfully imagined, clearly articulated, and quite moving It's a very serious ambitious statement by a gifted artist, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it turns out to have more staying power than many other contemporary works by today's trendier composers."
Virko Baley is the recipient of the 1996 Shevchenko Prize for Music, awarded by the Ukrainian government and he was also awarded the State of Nevada Regents' Creative Award for 1996. He was also awarded the Petro Jacyk Distinguished Research Fellowship at the Harvard University Ukrainian Research Institute for the academic year of 2006/2007 to continue work on his opera "Red Earth. Hunger". In 2007, he was awarded a GRAMMY as recording producer for TNC Recordings for Best Instrumental Performance with Orchestra. Most recently, he received in 2008 a Music Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The citation read: "A highly cultured, polyglot intellectual, brilliant pianist and a dynamic and accomplished conductor, the Ukrainian-born Virko Baley composes music which is dramatically expansive of gesture, elegant and refined of detail and profoundly lyrical. It is music which "sings" with passionate urgency whether it embraces (as in his more recent work) folkloric elements from his origins or finds expression in a more universal style of modernism typical of his earlier music. It is always a singular voice and a deeply felt and acutely heard music."
Virko Baley is currently Distinguished Professor of Music and Composer-in-Residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. For additional information on the music of Virko Baley, please go to www.virkobaley.com and www.tncmusic.net.