Compositions from the Rich Folkloristic Treasures of Ukraine

The mdw student and composer Sofiia Lozina

posted by Sofiia Lozina on March 25, 2024

“Life changes so quickly for me. A year ago, I never would have thought I would now already be about to have my second premiere performance.” The Ukrainian composer and pianist Sofiia Lozina, born in 2004, has studied composition at the mdw since 2023. Prior to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, she studied music theory in Kyiv, before the war forced her to flee to Poland. “I will always be grateful to the Polish people for what they did for us. But there was nothing for me to do in Poland, and I was looking for ways of continuing my studies,” says Sofiia. Then she came across the MORE programme, which enables refugees to participate in courses at the mdw as auditors. “The move to Vienna was difficult. I didn’t know anyone and had to do nearly everything on my own, but I received a great deal of help here,” says the student about her initial phase in Vienna. After completing the preparatory courses, Sofiia passed the entrance exam in the 2023 summer semester and is now a degree student at the mdw.

The mdw has gained a multitalented artistic talent in Sofiia Lozina. She started studying voice and dance at the age of four, and when she was six, she began piano lessons at the local music school. At the age of eight, she composed her first piece for piano and showed it to her teacher, who then recommended that she attend the composition class. When she was ten, she wrote her first musical. “I’ve always loved creating things and being creative,” she says. “This is what makes composing so interesting: you can not only combine music and words; it can also be theatre.” Sofiia is enthusiastic about her studies at the mdw: “I look forward every week to my lessons with my professor, Gerald Resch. He is one of the reasons why I’ve written so much music in such a short time.”

Credit: Anastasia Kovall

Sofiia had her first premiere performance at the mdw with her work Rusal´na, performed at the “reDiscover Ukraine” concert in January 2024 , which featured Ukrainian compositions. On 15 April 2024, she had her second premiere, on the stage of the Klangtheater at the mdw’s Future Art Lab. Sofiia is a scholarship holder of the “European Artists Solidarity Program”, financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs. As her project for the scholarship, she was presenting a musical-theatre performance in which she also played a role. “In my compositions, I explore folklorism and neo-folklorism. Ukraine has rich folklorist treasures whose myths and legends have always greatly fascinated me,” says the composer of her chosen emphasis. “It is particularly important to me to share Ukrainian traditions and rituals with the world. Through this, my country is represented in an interesting manner.” Sofiia uses her compositions to find a connection with the audience:

My music should make a lasting impression on people. It is important to me that listeners understand at least part of the music and are touched by it. Part of the music can then remain a mystery.

After her first premiere at the mdw, she had a great sense of relief, also thanks to the positive reaction of the audience: “I could finally breathe easily again.”

Credit: Anastasia Kovall

Sofiia has a full calendar: in addition to her studies at the mdw and her projects, she also continues to study music theory online at the R. Glier Institute of Music in Kyiv. She is learning German as well. She keeps in touch with her friends in Ukraine via telephone and messaging: “I appreciate it very much that my circle of friends understands that friendships are such an important part of life.”

For her future as an artist, Sofiia wishes to be able to continue to pursue a successful career as a composer: “Through instrumental compositions, I can also create performances. I hope to have even more opportunities in the future to present my work.” Her audiences can look forward to more exciting projects by this talented artist.

Credit: Viktoria Mokhova

Text: Isabella Gaisbauer

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