(Ukraine, 1974) studied at the music academies in Poltava, Kiew and Enschede. In 1999 he released his first CD, Awakening featuring works by a.o. Vivaldi, Bach, Pachelbel and Piazolla. He specialized in Argentine tango on bayan and bandoneon at Codarts Rotterdam. As a soloist, he won the 2005 National Accordion Competition in The Netherlands with his rendition of Victor Vlasov's "Five Views of the Land of the Gulag Archipelago", also the title piece of his 2012 CD Gulag. He prefers genre-transcending projects in which visual art, literature and music enhance and flow into one another. He developed such projects with writer and visual artist Armando, sculptor and illustrator Koenraad Tinel, and with writers, journalists and filmmakers, including Stefan Hertmans, Cherry Duyns and Peter d'Hamecourt, among others. For his double-CD De sneeuwstorm (The Snowstorm, 2022), Lysenko arranged and played on bayan Georgi Sviridov's music to Alexander Pushkin's story of the same name, recited by Martinus Nijhoff Prize-winning Pushkin translator Hans Boland. With fundraising events and benefit performances, Oleg raises money to pay for an ambulance for the Ukrainian region of Poltava, where his family comes from.(WN 2023)
Archive available for: Oleg Lysenko
More than a year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we took stock with authors Stanislav Aseyev (Ukraine), Tanja Maljartschuk (Austria), Sasha Marianna Salzmann (Germany) and Aleksandr Skorobogatov (Belgium). Journalists Franka Hummels and Simone Peek talked to them about the role of writing and poetry in times of war. Virtuoso accordionist Oleg Lysenko played some musical contributions.
Writer Lisa Weeda, compiler of the programme, opened Literary Focus: Ukraine from 19:30 in the foyer of Theater aan het Spui with a conversation with journalists Floris Akkerman and Geert Jan Hahn. Based on books about Ukraine, they talked about their impressions. Hahn reports for Dutch media on Eastern Europe. Among other things, Akkerman is editor-in-chief and reporter at NRC on the war in Ukraine. They have been presenting BNR Perestrojkast, their podcast on current topics from Eastern and Central Europe, since 2019.
The programme continued in Zaal 1 with a first performance by accordionist Oleg Lysenko playing two movements from Victor Vlasov's suite Five Views on Gulag State. In collaboration with writers' organisation PEN Netherlands, an empty chair was visible on stage symbolising journalists who cannot speak out or publish because they have been imprisoned.
Franka Hummels then spoke with writers Sasha Marianna Salzmann and Aleksandr Skorobogatov, both of whom also read from their work. Simone Peek talked to writers Tanja Malyartschuk and Stanislav Aseyev. Malyartschuk also recited from her work. Aseyev requested Nina Targan Mouravi, who translated his book The Torture Camp on Paradise Street from Russian into Dutch,to recite an excerpt from it.
Accordionist Oleg Lysenko then performed two more movements from Vlasov's suite. The programme will conclude with the short film Monument for murdered writers and journalists 2022, a project by Theatre of Wrong Decisions, Committee To Project Journalists and writers' organisation PEN International.
How do you report on an invasion that is not yet over? What can fiction and poetry mean for a nation whose sovereignty is threatened?
Long a blind spot in our Western European minds, Ukraine is now in the full spotlight. At lightning speed, we learn all kinds of things about the country. What do authors who have known, described or travelled the area all their lives actually say about Ukraine? What does literature and poetry add to the story about Ukraine and the surrounding countries?
Bookstore De Vries van Stockum was present in the lobby with a stand offering books by participating authors of this programme, among others including signing opportunities!
Literary Focus: Ukraine was developed by writer Lisa Weeda, who wrote a portrait of her Ukrainian family in her debut novel Aleksandra.
Day ticket: also visit the afternoon programme The World According to Cusk featuring Rachel Cusk!
Literary Focus: Ukraine was preceded Sunday 12 March from 14:30 hours in Theater aan het Spui by the, also English spoken, festival programme The World According to Cusk (with top author Rachel Cusk).
A reduced price day ticket for both festival programmes on 12 March was available.
With: Aad Meinderts, Alistair Payne, Gideon Samson, Jasper Albinus, Joke Hermsen, Marente de Moor, Noraly Beyer, Oleg Lysenko, Paul Demets, Robert van Asten, Stefan Hertmans, Thomas de Veen, Tijn Wybenga, Tjitske Jansen
The Schrijversfeest (Writers' Fest) is a festive program with readings and musical performances accompanying the awarding of the four literary prizes of the City of The Hague by Robert van Asten, alderman for Culture. As laudatio givers you will see and hear writer and philosopher Joke Hermsen, poet Tjitske Jansen and NRC literary editor Thomas de Veen. Musical odes will be performed by classical accordeonist Oleg Lysenko, piano player and composer Tijn Wybenga and trumpet player Alistair Payne. The opening poem will be read by poet Jasper Albinus; host will be Noraly Beyer.
A regular feature is the finale of the educational project Spot on Young Poets: the finalists, secondary school students from The Hague, read poems they wrote during school workshops. Among them Mirle Wittekoek, who won the Young Campert Prize last year. The audience determines which of the finalists wins this award for a young Hague poet this time.
Writer, poet and essayist Stefan Hertmans wins the Constantijn Huygens Prize for his entire body of work. Hertmans achieved his big breakthrough in 2013 with the novel Oorlog en terpentijn (War and Terpentine). The book is a delicate and intense ode to his grandfather, who grew up in poverty, fought at the front in World War I, and lost the love of his life too soon. He worked through his grief by painting.
Hertmans has been a highly respected Dutch literary writer for much longer. According to the jury, since his 1981 debut with the experimental prose book Ruimte (Space), he has built up a body of work that covers almost every genre. His collected poetry runs to about 1,000 pages, published as Muziek voor de overtocht (Music for the Crossing). His prose comprises novels, stories, as travel book and essays. He has also written theatre texts and published notable monographs about philosophy and visual art.
Paul Demets (1966) wins the Jan Campert Prize for his volume of poetry De Klaverknoop (The Shamrock Knot), a smashing collection in which each image is loaded and meaningful without making the poetry impenetrable. Demets' big achievement is knowing how to tie up the language without constricing the reader. These poems keep on sizzling in your mind.
Marente de Moor (1972) wins the F. Bordewijk Prize for her novel Foon. The tragic attempts of man to control, comprehend and direct nature lie at the heart of her work. It expresses a great love of science and a deeply felt understanding of the futiliy of human endeavour. She resolutely leads her reades to the edge of the woods, well knowing that sooner or later, something will happen to call forth the bears. Foon is a masterfully written novel of ideas about humans who are less and less able to stand the mysteries of existence, written by one of the most idiosyncratic authors writing in the Dutch language.
Gideon Samson (1985) wins the biannual Nienke van Hichtum Prize for his book Zeb. The book's freakish incidents are served up as simple logic in an otherwise completely realistic environment. The disruption mostly affects the mind of the reader - an effect that is happy, funny and playful but also covers up an ominous feeling of alienation. Zeb. adds a unique and absurdist work to the Dutch youth literature canon.
This program is a collaboration with the Jan Campert Foundation / Literature Museum. In Dutch.
The evening programme will be opened by poet Asha Karami. Her performance will be followed by the introduction of the Free the Word!-speech by PEN International Chair Jennifer Clement. The speech, with a focus on the freedom of expression, will be held by Syrian writer and journalist Samar Yazbek.
Yazbek, born in Jableh, Syria, is the recipient of the PEN Pinter award, the PEN Tucholsky award, and the PEN Oxfam Novib Award for her book A Woman in the Crossfire (2011). Her book The Crossing received the 2016 Best Foreign Book award in France. Her books have been translated into more than 15 languages, and in 2018 Yazbek was shortlisted for the Prix Femina for her novel, La marcheuse, that was recently published in Dutch translation as De blauwe pen by Orlando Uitgevers in collaboration with Oxfam Novib.
The prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Award, given out by Oxfam Novib director Michiel Servaes, honours authors who currently risk their freedom and their lives to seek out and publish the truth.
After the ceremony, Palestinian poet Asmaa Azaizeh and Turkish writer and journalist Barbaros Altuğ will be interviewed, on behalf of PEN Netherlands, by Hassnae Bouazza and Liesbeth Staats. Azaizeh and Altuğ will also read from their works.
The evening will be enhanced with performances by classical accordeon player Oleg Lysenko and will be hosted by Hassnae Bouazza. The Free the Word - Oxfam Novib PEN Award Night is a collaboration between Oxfam Novib, PEN International, PEN Netherlands and Writers Unlimited.
Schiller's idealistic poem about Europe and humanity, adapted to the here and now! Writers Unlimited asked seven writers and poets each to write their own Ode to Joy. This evening they presented their newly written works.
Participants at this Odes 2.0 were Nino Haratischwili, Magda Cârneci, Sanam Sheriff, Efe Murad, Grazyna Plebanek, Gustaaf Peek. Ghayath Almadhoun and Charlotte Van den Broeck. They recited their work in their mother tongues, with simultaneous projections of Dutch and/or English translations. Classical accordionist Oleg Lysenko, Cellist Elisabeth Sturtewagen and soprano Jole De Baerdemaeker provided musical accompaniment.
Originally written in 1785, Schiller's Ode to Joy lives on because Ludwig van Beethoven added one of its stanzas to the finale (for choir and soloists) of his Ninth Symphony. In 1985, the European Union Chose this particular segment - albeit in wordless form - as the official hymn of the EU. In the poem, Schiller transmits the ideal of a world in which all people live in brotherhood.
The longing for a strong collective feeling has once again become a source of social movements around the world. That "we"-feeling feeds passionate new emancipation and indentity groups. It also causes social fragmentation and conflict.
Brotherhood, the third pillar of democracy from the French Revolution, has long been viewed as a less inflammatory societal value compared with Freedom and Equality. But the comeback of a strong collective feeling is connected to high levels of polarization and conflict in society.
Bas Heijne, winner of the P.C. Hooft Prize for his essays and a prominent NRC newspaper columnist, investigated why the power of a longing for Brotherhood is underestimated, with the help of Flemish cultural historian and writer David Van Reybrouck, Turkish poet and philosopher Efe Murad, German novelist Fatma Aydemir and Polish novelist and journalist Grazyna Plebanek. Together they looked for the contemporary words to express a sense of collective bonding.
The conversations were accompanied by performances of poetry slam-talent Sanam Sheriff (India), by live drawn illustrations by Gerda Dendooven (Belgium) and by music performed by classical accordionist Oleg Lysenko (Netherlands) and soprano Elisabeth Sturtewagen (Belgium).
Equality reconsidered: in the 20th century, the Soviet Union added a strange flavour to the second ideal of the French Revolution. Equality reduced to the repression and monotony of state socialism and the dullness of old Ladas.
Writers Unlimited investigates the value of equality as a European ideal in the framework of the intellectual legacy of Karl Marx*. What can we learn from the socialist era in Central and Eastern Europe? Can Marx remain a fount of inspiration after the Soviet debacle?
In his revolutionary pamphlet Resist! (Querido, 2017), novelist Gustaaf Peek proposes that, after thirty years of capitalist domination, it is high time to aim for equality and to reconsider and reevaluate a communist-style redistribution of wealth.
He discussed this subject with the Georgian-German writer Nino Haratischwili and the Romanian poet and essayist Magda Carneci. Professor and essayist Paul Scheffer moderated the conversation. Classical accordionist Oleg Lysenko and his trio provided music.
*More Marx? During Saturday Night Unlimited, Winternachten festival screened the Dutch premiere of The Young Karl Marx by Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck, whose earlier successful documentary I Am Not Your Negro focused on writer James Baldwin. His feature film is an intense reimagination of the birth of communism and the meeting of Marx and Engels.
The Congolese novelist and essayist Alain Mabanckou opened Friday Night Unlimited with a lecture about the values of the French Revolution and their meaning in our time.
Afterwards, writer and essayist Stephan Sanders had conversations with Alain Mabanckou, with historian and political philosopher Luuk van Middelaar and writer Louise O. Fresco about the contemporary meaning of freedom as a driving force of European democracy.
What is the meaning of the French Revolution's motto in today's Europe? For the revolutionaries, freedom stood for much more than individual aims. it stood for the collective longing for self-determination and for the democratic consideration and manifestation of change and progress. Is anything left of the revolutionary meaning of freedom in contemporary Europe?
Alternating with the conversations there was live drawing by visual artist en book illustrator Gerda Dendooven (Belgium) and music by classical accordionist Oleg Lysenko (Netherlands), cello player Jole De Baerdemaeker and soprano Elisabeth Sturtewagen (both Belgium).