Honored Artists of Ukraine
HERMAN SAFONOV (violin) and OLENA STROGAN (piano)
The duo of soloists of the National Philharmonic of Ukraine is a prominent phenomenon for Ukrainian musical culture. It is known on the domestic stage and on the European one too. Musicians are distinguished by thoughtful selection of the repertoire including the most brilliant works of world music of past and present. They find conceptual and original solution for art ideas. Their alternative interpretation of well-known masterpieces acquire modern emotional and philosophical content and the new intellectual one.
Musical talent of musicians was clearly demonstrated at an early age. They studied at the Kyiv Lysenko Special Music School for gifted children, and in 1989 graduated from the National Music Academy of Ukraine. Herman Safonov was a student of Professor O.Horohov, known violinist, who continued the school of L.Tseytlina and L.Auera. Olena Strogan studied in the class of renowned pianist V.Vynnytsky (now resides in the USA), which gave her the traditions of his own teachers - Malinin and Neygauz. In 1996, young musicians studied at the Menuhin Academy (Switzerland).
Duo Safonov-Strohan began concert activity in 1994 and quickly became famous. In 2002 they were awarded the titles of Honored Artists of Ukraine. The technical excellence of the playing, fine and organic feeling of ensemble (perhaps beacause of the fact that they are spouses) immediately captivate the listener, not even familiar with the music. As to professionals, Duo art reveals for them the new dimensions in the world of sounds, new understanding of musical form. And most importantly - their concerts bring energy of high spiritualyty, magnetic beauty and perfection of classical harmonies.
"Duo Safonov and Strohan is a highly professional ensemble, which is characterized by rich culture, wonderful sense of style and form, delicate test, capability of expression of wide imagination and emotional spectrum: from the finest lyricism to wild open emotion ..." (E.Stankovych, composer, People's Artist of Ukraine, winner of the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine). "The depth of music making and strength of emotional impact of these musicians’ playing is a very rare, especially in chamber music ..." ("Ukrainian Panorama").
Herman Safonov perfoms much as a soloist with leading symphony orchestras of Ukraine. "His game is characterized by a great technical skill and, above all, incredible personal expression. My violin concert he performs with a large musical conviction ..." (Johan Kvandal, Norway).
Herman Safonov and Olena Strogan are leading a big concert activity, appear on the National Television and Radio. Duo is the first in Ukraine performer of works by such composers as Charles Ives, Johan Kvandal, Ernst Krenek and works of modern Ukrainian authors. Musicians are involved in many music festivals: "KyivMuzykFest", "Musical Dialogues", "Musical Premieres of the Season" (Ukraine), "Zagreb Festival", "Apollonia" (Bulgaria), "Szymanowski Festival" (Zakopane).