Tiomkin festival underway in Kremenchug, May 17, 2012

by Warren M. Sherk

The inaugural Tiomkin competition in Kremenchug, Ukraine is underway as a part of the International Jazz Festival (“Energy”). Among today’s activities at the festival will be a performance by the ShowBoat Quartet from Kharkov.

At Friday’s gala concert, the Dimitri Tiomkin Award for excellence in piano performance will be given to the top three competitors. Volta Music, Dimitri Tiomkin’s American publishing company, will provide prize money in addition to that provided by the festival for the first, second, and third place winners. Olivia Tiomkin Douglas and Volta Music supplied the festival competitors with copies of the book, Dimitri Tiomkin: A Portrait by Christopher Palmer.

Participants in the Tiomkin piano competition hold "Dimitri Tiomkin: A Portrait," Kremenchug, Ukraine. Photograph courtesy Iryna Kats.

Those attending Friday night’s gala concert will have the opportunity to view a special filmed “Greetings from Hollywood,” with a welcome from Olivia Tiomkin, greetings from symphonic orchestrator and Film Music Foundation president Patrick Russ, and a brief introduction from this writer placing Tiomkin in a jazz context: from his introduction to American jazz during his student days in St. Petersburg to his music for Albertina Rasch stage ballets that featured jazz forms and rhythms and became his first “film music” when used in early sound musicals at MGM.

Saturday, May 19 is Europe Day in Ukraine with celebrations and cultural events scheduled throughout the country. Official delegations from Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic are arriving and will stay in Kremenchug. These guests of the city will be invited to Friday’s gala concert.

As of today, for the month of May, the number of visitors to this web site from Ukraine rank third, behind only the U.S. and U.K., according to Google Analytics.

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