Oksana Lyniv
The first Ukrainian to be the chief conductor of the Graz Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra (Austria). She is one of the three best conductors of modernity. Oksana is a guest conductor of the Frankfurt Opera, and has been recognised as one of the best conductors of classical music at the Bavarian Opera. She is the founder and art director of the LvivMozArt classical musical festival. In 2017 she founded and led the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine.
*audio translation from Ukrainian is recorded by a professional narrator
I grew up in a creative family, there was music around me everywhere. Even in childhood I organised small music groups and was constantly in an artistic atmosphere. And I remember that a great desire to become a conductor appeared in my heart when I heard the sound of an orchestra for the first time on vinyl records. I was enraptured, and have carried this spark in my life to this day. It was exactly then that I believed in my dream, despite the fact that for a long time this profession was considered strictly male.

My inner benchmark is a confidence in the fact that I am carrying out a defined mission in life. Awards and distinctions are just a nice bonus. The post of chief director in Graz and the responsibility of opening the legendary Bayreuth Festival as the first female conductor are the result of colossal work on myself as a musician. And an irrepressible desire to move constantly forwards.

The revolution which women are undertaking in art and science proves that dreams do not depend on constraints and stereotypes. The specific character of a conductor's work is in the ability to simultaneously form a far-reaching spatial canvas and construct the fine details. To capture everything at once and develop a defined system from this.
The mission that defines my journey is to develop a strong international image of Ukraine, to teach the younger generation to be ambassadors for their culture. The performance of Ukrainian works, the discovery of Ukrainian names and the cooperation of our musical world with the global one are an important aspect of my activity.

My grandmother was a teacher of the Ukrainian language and its literature, and I always felt a close connection with my culture and traditions. Ukrainian poetry and fairy tales are what I was raised on. It was not until later, when I went to study abroad, that I realised that I missed it there.

When you return to your native home after lengthy travels, you make out the smell of apples from a native apple tree even with closed eyes. These things are not material and not verbal, but on a subconscious level they give spiritual comfort and a sense of home.
To be engaged in the process of creating music is a wonderful experience. During rehearsals and concerts a synergy is formed which is hard to describe. It is like magic which one needs to feel. It spreads to the listeners and everyone who is involved in creating music
For you understand that the work of the whole orchestra depends on your glance, your gestures and your mood. To see every musician on the stage is as important as holding their attention on you. The quality of the work will depend on this.

The musical profession is about constant improvement. It is rather exhausting, but the emotions from the result quickly revitalise me.

A conductor's work abhors fear of difficulties. I give it 100% in everything I do and expect the best result from those who I work with. It sometimes happens that today I am conducting in Paris, but tomorrow I have to fly to a rehearsal in Barcelona or Kyiv, and immediately immerse myself in work with a different group and a new programme.
Being a conductor is like being the captain of a large spaceship. Fantastic sensations, I must confess
The conductor's baton is a symbolic object for me, for with its help I lead famous groups from across the world. The success of global premieres and performances depends on its tip, on the precision of this baton's work.

The profession of conductor is considered to be one of the most difficult in the musical art. It arose significantly later than others, in the late 19th century. For a long time, it was men's prerogative. The quantity of female conductors in the world is around 3% even today. Therefore, this position is of double responsibility for me.

With this object I want to symbolically say that every person can choose their own path in life, and not change their dream, but dedicate all their strength and energy to it. Through striving for perfection and daily work we can achieve very high-quality results, improving ourselves, our native culture and the world around us.
Cultural diplomacy unequivocally works. The new generation of Ukrainians, who speak foreign languages fluently and have the possibility to spread true and interesting information, are very important in these processes
I remember well the day of the declaration of independence. My parents and I had only just returned from a journey to Zakarpattia. When I dropped in to see my grandmother in her room, she was sitting and crying. These were tears of excitement and great joy. She had lived through the war and deportation, she was a deeply spiritual, faithful person and Communist times were not simple for her.

My desire is to open up Ukraine to the world through my own creative work. I am happy that, when I am invited to concerts across the world, I am always noted and presented as a Ukrainian composer. I also try to add works by Ukrainian composers, more often contemporary ones, to concert programmes.

One of the most important projects for me is the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. It brings talented young performers together, we travel and tour a lot. I would also like to mention the LvivMozArt festival, which promotes the establishment of international cultural links.
Ukraine for me is about silence and harmony with nature. It is associated with space: it is the valleys of the Carpathians, the extent of the Azov and Black Sea coastlines, the forests of Volyn, and the Arabat Spit