Public Relations Committee Chairman:
Music Committee Chairman:
Nicholas Zwarych (Chairman)
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Founded in 1962, the Prometheus Ukrainian Male Chorus of Philadelphia is one of the oldest Ukrainian male choirs in the world. The Chorus has a long and distinguished history which includes tours of Europe in 1980 and 1984, as well as a tour of Ukraine in 1995. In 1980, the tour included concert stops in England (London, Manchester and Bradford), France (Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Rennes and St. Lorient), Holland (Utrecht), Austria (Saltzburg) and Germany (Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Dusseldorf). In 1984, the Chorus visited Switzerland (Montreux Choral Festival, Bern, Luzerne, Zurich and Lausanne), France (Strasbourg) and Germany (Munich). Its first appearance in a free and independent Ukraine took place in 1995 with concert performances in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Strij, Drohobych, Ternopil, Truskavtsi and Chernivtsi. Over the years, Prometheus has performed at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall in New York City, NY, Lincoln Hall in Chicago, IL, John Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., Mont Royale in Montreal, QC, Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall in Toronto, ON, and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, among many other prominent venues around the world.
The Chorus started its long journey in 1962 with 15 singers. Rehearsals were conducted by Petro Kurylenko and accompanied on the mandolin by O. Kobylnyk. Soon after, Prometheus was able to engage the renowned choral conductor Ivan Zadorozhny as its permanent artistic director. At the time, he was also leading the Dumka Chorus of New York and the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus based in Detroit, MI. With Ivan Zadorozhny’s unexpected death in 1967, the Chorus filled the void with two interim directors, Roman Stepaniak and Wolodymyr Trytiak. In 1968, Mychajlo Dlaboha was hired to carry the torch and would serve as permanent director until 1991. Under his direction, the Chorus achieved numerous memorable milestones, including two tours of Western Europe. With his youthful exuberance, he was able to integrate many young singers into its ranks. At one time, the choir had over 70 performers and a youth preparatory group of over 20 young men which allowed the Chorus to record three LPs and two CDs. The repertoire included not only the works of Ukraine’s finest composers (Lysenko, Stetsenko, Liudkevych, Hayvoronsky, Nyzhankivsky, Koshetz, Nishchynsky, Kos-Anatolsky, Sichynsky, Kudryk, Hulak Artemovsky, Bortniansky, etc.) but also those of international masters (such as Wagner, Schumann and Schubert). With Dlaboha’s departure in 1991, talented violinist and orchestral conductor Adrian Bryttan was selected to lead the Chorus. It was under his tenure that Prometheus successfully completed its concert tour of Western Ukraine. Next to take the helm was Nestor Kyzymyshyn, who served as artistic director from 1998 until 2008.
With a youthful revival, current artistic director Roman Kucharskyy has reinvigorated the efforts of Prometheus. Since his arrival in 2008, Mr. Kucharskyy has brought together a diverse range of male singers committed to musical excellence. In 2012, the Chorus celebrated its 50th Anniversary in front of a sold out, standing room only audience at the Ukrainian Educational & Cultural Center (UECC) in Jenkintown, PA. Since this milestone concert, the Chorus has also performed at the annual Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival twice (2013, 2014), the 200th Anniversary Commemoration of the birth of Taras Shevchenko at the United Nations in New York (2014), the 50th Anniversary of the Shevchenko Monument in Washington D.C. (2014), a joint concert series with the Dumka Chorus of New York celebrating the life of Taras Shevchenko (2015) as well as many other Christmas, Shevchenko and local events. In 2014, the Chorus also received an Honorable Award from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Ukraine for its 50 years of hard work in preserving and popularizing the Ukrainian culture.
Following a brief hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Prometheus resumed performances in the Spring of 2022, sadly coinciding with Russia's further invasion of Ukraine. After several performaces spreading awareness about the war and raising funds for humanitarian aid, the Chorus celebrated it's 60th Anniversary with a Concert Celebration at its home, the UECC, on November 5, 2022. Always striving for the highest degree of musicianship, Prometheus continues to maintain a rich and colorful repertoire to enable audiences to experience the great beauty of Ukrainian choral tradition.
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