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Herman Makarenko was born June 29, 1961 in the city of Lviv in the family of musical theater artists. His father, George Makarenko, was Opera soloist (tenor) and his mother, Larisa Makarenko, a Ballet soloist. From early childhood Herman wanted to become a conductor. This ambitious dream he realized through persistence in achieving goals and a deep, infinite love for musical theater.

Besides his “theatrical childhood spent behind the scenes, a serious and multi-faceted education played a significant role in the formation of the Maestro, which proved to be essential for practical conductor’s work in the future. Years of study were marked by successful graduation of Kiev Secondary Specialized Music School named after 
N. Lysenko, class fortepіano (class of M. Karafinky, 1980, gold medal), fortepіano faculty of the Kiev State Conservatory (class of Professor L. Weintraub, 1986, diploma with honors), conductor’s faculty of the Kiev State Conservatory (class of Professor R. Kofman, 1990, diploma with honors), assistantship - Internship of National Music Academy of Ukraine (the course professor R. Kofman, 1998), postgraduate course at the National Music Academy of Ukraine (supervisor Professor A. Levitskyy, 1999), and doctoral studies of the National Music Academy of Ukraine (scientific advisor - professor T. Levchuk, 2004).

During his educational phase, there was clear recognition of conductor Makarenko, –as he was named winner in national Ukrainian competitions (1980 and 1984) and later in the world as the winner in international competitions and festivals (Switzerland, Canada 1998).

Beginning in 1987, Herman gained invaluable skills while working at the National Academic Opera and Ballet of Ukraine, first as a prompter, and later as a conductor. While at the National Opera of Ukraine he was the chief conductor - artistic director of chamber music theater (1994-1995), conductor of the Kiev State Operetta Theatre (1990-1995), artistic director - chief conductor of the “Little Grand Opera New –York” (New York, 1997-1998), guest – conductor of State Opera (Osijek, Croatia 1998-2001).

His creative activities have earned him many awards as Honored Artist of Ukraine (2002) and Ambassador of Ukrainian Culture (2006) at which time he successfully represented the native music and performing arts in various countries of the world: USA, Canada, France, Italy, Russia, Czech Republic, Croatia Slovakia, Macedonia, Serbia and others.

The year 2004 was special in life of Maestro and was marked by a number of creative events. First was the birth of the orchestra "Kyiv-Classic", which performed in Paris for the celebration of 50 anniversary of Ukraine's membership in UNESCO. Three additional projects were created as well this year: “Concert Premier”, “New Year Strauss Concert” and “Declaration of Love”.

“Concert Premier” is a project aimed to show Ukrainian audiences little-known or completely unknown musical cultures of different countries of the world. Most works of this project were performed in Ukraine for the first time. Since the establishment of the project, eight Premier Concerts have been held in cooperation with the embassies of the represented countries:

  • the first concert (March 2004) featured music by Austrian and Czech composers;

  • the second concert (March 2005) was devoted to the 100th anniversary of the peaceful separation of Norway and Sweden;

  • the anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s birth was celebrated with support from the German Embassy at the third “Concert Premier” (October 2005);

  • in honor of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, the fourth concert of the project was performed in the National Opera of Ukraine and was titled, "Music of all continents" (October 2005);

  • the fifth “Concert Premier” was devoted to the National Day of Greece consisting of works by composers of this country (March, 2009);

  • the works of Azerbaijani composers were performed at the sixth “Concert Premier” (October 2009);

  • “Mystic Love”, the seventh “Concert Premier” (April 2010), presented music of Turkish composers, performed by musicians from Turkey using national instruments along with the orchestra “Kyiv-Classic”;

  • the 65th anniversary of the origin of the United Nations was celebrated at the eighth “Concert Premier” (October, 2010).

We all, without an exception - and adults, and children love and look forward to New Year holidays, expect miracles and fairytales. This charming and fantastically beautiful, light and effervescent as splashes of champagne music of Strauss family can most precisely create magical holiday spirit, and recreate the feeling of happiness. Seven years in a row the guests of Kiev and its residents who attended the “New Year Strauss – Concert” at the National Opera of Ukraine on New Year's Eve had an opportunity to make sure of it.

The “Declaration of Love” project is orchestrated to express our passionate feelings with help of the language of music, ballet and opera. This project was created to honor and to offer reverence to all women. This project has entertained and surprised audiences for seven years by giving the pleasure of beautiful melodies performed at the National Opera Ukraine on the eve of International Women's Day - 8 March.

Herman Makarenko successfully combined an active conductor's practical activity with the theoretical comprehension of philosophical and aesthetic nature of the music art for his doctoral work by using the phenomenon of complicated and many-sided creative works of an opera and the role of a symphony orchestra conductor. The result of this symbiosis of theory and practice was writing the PhD dissertation “Music - as meta-art in irrational aesthetic of the XIX century”, which he defended at the philosophical faculty of Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University (May 2000). His doctoral dissertation, “Creativity in the context of the conductor integrative approach”, was successfully defended at the National Music Academy of Ukraine (June, 2006).

With his PhD in Philosophy and his Doctor of Arts in Conducting, Makarenko is the author of several scientific books: “Music and Philosophy: Schopenhauer, Wagner, and Nietzsche” and “The Conductor's Creative Work: the Dimensions of Aesthetics and Art History” a manual for university students entitled, “The Irrational Aesthetics of the 19th Century: the Musical Point”, and more than 50 scientific and methodological articles, published in HAC’s collections. (Higher Attestation Commission)

Professor Makarenko has been effectively passing on his practical experience to the rising generation of young conductors for the last 20 years. His master classes in other countries (USA 1998, China 2006) were also of great interest among foreign students.

There are 2 author's CD recording projects by Herman Makarenko: “My Ukraine” and “Ukraine in the global cultural space”, with a goal to represent to the world the entire beauty and uniqueness of the national musical legacy, to give the listener a memorable works of world famous composers, and to leave the listeners with his interpretation of the world classics. The first of them, “My Ukraine” includes works by Ukrainian composers - S. Gulak - Artemovsky, N. Lysenko, V. Gubarenko, I. Shcherbakov,     M. Skorik, E. Stankovych. The second one consists of music for ballets such as Tchaikovsky's “Swan Lake” and “Nutcracker”, works of Mozart, Bizet, Verdi, Mascagni, Khachaturian, Strauss and other world famous composers. Today, with the Ukraine National Opera Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra “Kyiv-Classic” Maestro has recorded 10 CDs.

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