Ukrainian UNESCO Artist for Peace Herman Makarenko

By: Azad Karimi

Music is a special amazing substance. As the state of being in love, there is a state of musicality that also includes being in love.




Ukrainian UNESCO Artist for Peace Herman Makarenko

By Azad Karimi


As I was editing the text of the interview, I thought to myself, all these writings will be memorabilia for future generations. When I thought about it again, I felt happy and proud.

I said to myself, I did a good job that I thought of this unique project and I did it.

Thanks to my dear friend Herman for trusting me and accepting my invitation to publish this interview. I also thank my other friends around the world for their friendly and pleasant welcome to this great and valuable international cultural project.

The following is an introduction that Herman has written to his answers, and I will quote it exactly.

I wish Herman dear success and further progress. Viva!



Thank you!




Herman Makarenko - UNESCO Artist for Peace, Conductor of the National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Ukraine, the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Kyiv Classic Orchestra, People's Artist of Ukraine, PhD, Doctor of Arts, Professor, Ambassador of the Ukrainian culture.

He has toured with concerts around the world: Belgium, Vatican City, Iran, Italy, Canada, Cyprus, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, United States, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, China and other countries.

Has recorded over 15 CDs with works of Ukrainian, Western European and world-famous composers.

Introducing to the cultures of different countries of the world, bridges of cooperation and understanding between different peoples in the works of Maestro Makarenko is implemented through a large repertoire, which includes both folk music and works of professional composers of Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australia, China and Europe.

One of the major achievements of conductor Herman Makarenko was the creation of concerts, dedicated to the 65th and 60th anniversaries of the United Nations - "Music of all continents", which through the universal language of music, understandable for everyone regardless of age, race, sex, language, religion, have clearly demonstrated and implemented the basic ideals of UNESCO - the promoting of mutual understanding between the peoples, aspiration for good and tolerance.

The next 70th UN anniversary was marked with the "Music for Peace" concert, which through the creative work of children and young artists attracted attention and emphasized the basic principle of the UN and UNESCO - intention for peace in Ukraine and worldwide.


For the significant contribution to the development of Ukrainian culture, promotion of musical-performing and domestic art in the world, Herman Makarenko received a high title - the "Ambassador of Ukrainian Culture".

In 2016, the Director-General of UNESCO designated Herman Makarenko as a UNESCO Artist for Peace. This title was bestowed upon Maestro Makarenko in recognition of his commitment to promote music as a vehicle for dialogue and mutual understanding among people, his contribution to peace and tolerance, notably through the performances of the Kyiv Classic Orchestra, and his profound commitment to the ideals and aims of the Organization.


1.Please present yourself: (Name, education, Civil status and...)
.Herman Makarenko - UNESCO Artist for Peace, the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Kyiv Classic Orchestra, Conductor of the National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Ukraine, People's Artist of Ukraine, PhD, Doctor of Arts, Professor, Ambassador of the Ukrainian culture.


2-What is your artistic specialize?
.I am a conductor by profession. I am the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Kyiv Classic Orchestra. I create author's musical programs and international projects, in particular, together with diplomatic missions of European countries, with Chinese colleagues, as well as musicians, composers and artists from France and many of my other good friends and companions in art...Together with my colleagues-musicians, composers, we hold classical music concerts in various countries within the framework of Global Harmony Art. In addition, we take part in Viennese balls in European countries.


3-When and how did you become interested in this field of art?
.I became interested in conducting in early childhood. My parents were artists: mother was a ballet soloist, father was an opera soloist. They always took me on tour.


At the age of 4,I really wanted to conduct. Parents brought a conductor's baton for mefrom the theater. And so I stood with my back to the wall and began to move my arms, performing my father's opera parts.


4-Who was your motivator?

.First of all, these were my parents and the theater. Among the mentors were famous conductors StepanTurchak, Oleg Ryabov. And my teacher at the National Academy of Music, Roman Kofman.


5-What was your parent’s reaction?

.My parents supported my interest in music and did everything for me to get a solid musical education.


6-When started you such as a professional musician?
.I studied to play the pianofrom the age of 4. I was a laureate of competitions for young performers. In 1982 was my first performance at the conductor's stand: we played Prokofiev's «Peter and the Wolf» and Mozart's Symphony.


7-Are you thankful and happy because of your activities as musician?
.I am happy and grateful to God that he gives me the opportunity to realize my childhood dream. Conducting is not just a profession, it is more a vocation and mission for which I came to this world. This is the universe where you find and learn yourself, feel the comfort, joy, pleasure, love and all the best and brightest that is in this world!

I am also grateful to colleagues, friends and all those who help to put into life the most daring ideas into artistic projects. I must say that at the international level UNESCO is engaged in a very important task, its Institute of Artists for Peace, which I have the honor to belong to is a cooperation of creative people from many countries allows us to carry an important mission of humanism and goodness, to unite our potential. The personal role of the Director-General of UNESCO, Madame Audrey Azoulay, is very important, as well as the Deputy Director-General Mr. Firmin Edouard Matoko and Marie-Ange Theobald, the Senior Coordinator of the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors Program. I am grateful to them for the opportunity to implement our projects under the auspices of an influential organization. It inspires new ideas.


In my creative realization, I was lucky to meet with the same enthusiastic people as I am, and more than once these acquaintances grew into cooperation: such was with the most talented, energetic, bright and unique sculptor from France Hedva Ser, the famous composer and performer A.R.Rahman and his Turkish colleague KudsiErguner.


My work and the work of the Kyiv Classic Orchestra is closely connected with European classics - even our orchestra, in the literal sense of the word, was born as a collective on the steps of the La Madeleine Cathedral in Paris, where we gave our first concert in 2004. The next day we performed at UNESCO Headquarters. And it predetermined a lot. At the same time, much connects us with Asia –the orchestra is warmly welcomed in China, Kuwait, Iran and other countries. We try to include their national works into our musical program; we collaborate with the best composers.


8-What is music culture? What is music logic?
.Music is a special amazing substance. As the state of being in love, there is a state of musicality that also includes being in love.

The ancient Greeks compared it to the cosmic harmony of the spheres. In the era of classicism, music was an example of harmony and beauty, splashing out an unlimited range of emotions and feelings during the time of romanticism, conveying the subtlest shades of sensations during the time of the impressionists.

“The more you become a musician, the more you become a philosopher,” Nietzsche assured. Modern philosophical movements, in particular existentialism, believe that the art of music appears as a special existence (like love and other feelings) in which a person learns himself.

Acting on the subconscious, it is understandable to everyone. And I'm not afraid to say that music is one of the most potent psychotropic substances because its influence on the human psyche is limitless!


9-Why do some songs become immortal?
.They are brilliant! They became so because they conveyed the deepest and most subtle feelings, and responds in new eras.

For example, the music of Mozart is a litmus test of professionalism. All competitions of vocalists, conductors, instrumentalists - include it. Playing Mozart is not easy. It is a paradox, but this music is very easily perceived by the listener - it carries a colossal positive charge and all-consuming harmony.

I remember how during our France tour in 2007, which UNESCO declared the year of Mozart, Kyiv Classic Orchestra included only his works in the program. We gave the first concert in Paris ... finished after midnight - the audience did not let us go! We were insanely tired, and then right on the stage I thought: “What a genius Mozart was! With some kind of squiggles, keys, all sorts of dashes and dots, he created something so fantastic and beautiful that has been receiving a warm response for 250 years".


10-How you see the Music, art and culture in your perspective?

.In 2020, humanity is facing complex challenges that require unity. You know, when in March I turned to my colleagues - UNESCO Artists for Peace in order to create a joint project, I did not even expect such a powerful response - musicians from Japan and Mauritius, an opera singer from South Korea, a sculptor from France and many others joined and we implemented the "Art Against a Pandemic" project. We - representatives of different types of arts - have expressed solidarity and support to all of humanity with the help ofthe language of art.

We are preparing the following international projects and are open to cooperation with musicians around the world. From a tour in every country, whether it be the US, China, Egypt, Kuwait, or the Czech Republic, we bring something new - a new experience of cooperation, manner of performance, national color.

I am sure that culture will unite humanity in its best way because people of all continents understand music! This particular feature of music allowed us to create an optimal program for celebrating the 60th and 65th anniversary of the United Nations, and our project «Music of All Continents», according to the BBC Radio, was recognized as one of the best. The importance of culture in the life of a modern person is colossal: previously, with music, we created a soul harmony, and the latest global events in the world require us to heal tortured souls with music.


11-Can you become one part of the cultural movement for motivation in youth or new generation in your country and so than?
.We create special programs for young people with leading universities in Ukraine. At Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, we have organized an overture, dedicated to the new academic year. A project to the UNESCO International Music Day was held at the National University "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute". Viennese Charity Ball is a special project, which we held for law students and the Junior Viennese Ball for children with special needs. Repeatedly organized concerts in the parks and squares where young people often gather. Especially for the Christmas holidays, we are making an annual social project for children from poor families.

Young people attend our «The New Year's Strauss-concerts», «Concerts Premiere», which we hold with the embassies of different countries. As an artistic director, I make sure that the programs are varied - not just classics. We play jazz, folk, popular music, and works of contemporary performers(Johnny Mandel,Dave Brubeck, Richard Wright, Leroy Anderson, Louis Armstrong, Paul McCartney and others).


12-How can you help our world become a better place to live?
.All my creative activity is aimed at exactly this. Kyiv Classic Orchestra, which was born almost 20 years ago, allows us to embody the brightest ideas. In many ways, I am grateful to meet on my path of life with Mr. Suvra Chakraborty, who, like me, saw an opportunity to make our world a better place through music.

Indeed, besides the material world, there is a spiritual world that we invisibly feel. Actions change the material basis of our world. And music is an effective tool in changing it. How does it work? Music, acting on the subconscious and emotions, creates a feeling that gives birth to certain thoughts. They are pushing us for actions that change the world.

It is important what kind of music we give to humanity and what we listen to. There is music that destroys the psyche and inner world of a person. There are known experiments when even plants wither under the influence of destructive music, and ice crystals became disproportionate. Whereas the classics have a beneficial effect on all living things.


It is significant that music directly affects the material essence, creates impulses that give birth to destructive or constructive thoughts.


13-Have you more word to say or suggest for our readers?
.I would like to wish that in the face of global challenges, our readers do not lose their fortitude, confidence that difficult times are passing. Let the feelings remain bright and harmonious, let the positive, constructive mood stay with you. Music that creates wonders will help to keep it!