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Saturday, December the 17th is an important date for two reasons. As we all know, it’s the time when Santa is working flat out to make sure that children’s presents arrive in the right place at the right time.

It’s also very important for another reason. Clonter will be staging a concert featuring both local Ukrainian musicians and internationally acclaimed Ukrainian artists including pianist Ivan Hovorun and opera singer Khrystyna Makar.

Ivan is forging a reputation as one of the most acutely perceptive and insightfully intelligent musicians of our time. He first performed for the public of his native city Lviv at the age of nine. He was only eleven when he first performed with a full orchestra, since when he has been invited to perform annually with the Lviv Symphony Orchestra and also performed with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine.

Khrystyna completed her studies with Alexander Vostryakov of the Kyiv National Opera and Olga Pasichnyk of the Polish Royal Opera, before embarking on a career which has taken her to many of the most prestigious Concert Halls and Festivals of Europe, including: Vienna, Antwerp, Dresden, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Munich, Stavanger, Stockholm and Geneva.

Khrystyna Makar and Ivan will be joined by Taisiia Holovko, now a student at the Royal Northern College of Music, on saxophone. She will be accompanied by Alex Dakin, and joined by Taisiia’s head of department Rob Buckland, and his No. 2, Andy Scott.

The Ukrainian line-up will also be joined by Congleton-born baritone Jordan Harding, who has just performed in Clonter’s most prestigious annual event, the Opera Gala, and highly acclaimed local folk musicians, Brennan and Buchanan, and Bakerfield.

This very special evening will raise much needed money not only to support the work of the local Congleton Area Ukraine Support Network, but also to send money to the Rotary International Crisis Task Force project.

This remarkable project aims to provide 300 temporary homes in Moshchun where many houses were destroyed during the Russian invasion of Kiev (see video below).
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Please show your support for Ukraine this Christmas. It will be a night not to be missed.
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Line-Up So Far

Khrystyna Makar – Soprano

Khrystyna Makar was born in Lviv, Ukraine. After having been awarded a Master’s degree in Voice at the Lviv National Music Academy, she completed her studies with Alexander Vostryakov of the Kyiv National Opera and Olga Pasichnyk of the Polish Royal Opera, before embarking on a career which has taken her to many of the most prestigious Concert Halls and Festivals of Europe, including: Vienna, Antwerp, Dresden, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Munich; Stavanger, Stockholm and Geneva. Khrystyna has performed under the baton of some of the most prominent present-day conductors, including: Lorenzo Castriota, Ferdinando Nazzaro, Mattias Georg Kedlinger, Georg Kugi, Martin Kerschbaum, Alexander Rumpf, Roman Kreslenko, Sergey Horovets, Yuriy Bervetsky, Teodor Kucher, Vladimir Syvokhip, Myron Yusypovych and Vasyl Yatsynyak. Khrystyna is a passionate enthusiast of 21st century music and has performed in the World Premieres of such works as Bazhansky’s ‘Dovbush’ and ‘The White Gypsy’, Dimas Artur da Silva’s ‘Amen’, Scott Brickmann’s ‘Kaddish’, Gabriele Spampinato’s ‘Stabat Mater’. Further concert and opera repertoire include Handel – ‘Messiah’; Bach – ‘St. Matthew and St. John Passions’, ‘Cantata No. 51’, ‘Christmas Oratorio’; Rossini – ‘Missa Solemnis’; Beethoven – ‘9th Symphony’; Verdi – ‘Requiem’; Orff – ‘Carmina Burana’; Dvořák – ‘Stabat Mater’; Müller – ‘2nd Symphony’; Szymanovsky – ‘Stabat Mater’; Liudkevych – ‘Testament’; Mozart – ‘Magic Flute’ – First Lady, Queen of the Night; Verdi – ‘La Traviata’ – Violetta; Puccini – ‘La Bohème’ – Mimi; Rachmaninov – ‘Aleko’ – Zemfira.
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Jordan Harding – Baritone

Having first discovered opera at Clonter, Jordan went on to study Music at the University of Manchester followed by a Master’s in voice at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Matthew Best, graduating with distinction in 2021. Career highlights to date include performances with Opera Holland Park, Buxton Festival Opera and Opera Rara. Previous stage roles, including Silvio Pagliacci, Herald The Pilgrim’s Progress and Dr. Falke Die Fledermaus, indicate Jordan’s versatility as a performer, with an affinity for music spanning Italian opera, lieder, English song and classic musical theatre. Jordan performed the role of Mr Gedge in Clonter’s production of Albert Herring this summer, going on to If Opera, to sing the role of Maggiordomo in La Rondine and as am ensemble member in Dido and Aeneas. https://www.jordanhardingbaritone.co.uk 
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Iwan Owen – Accompanist

Iwan Owen graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2019 achieving a Master’s degree with distinction. He studied with Benjamin Frith on a full scholarship as an ABRSM Scholar and won the Piano Recital Prize in 2018, the college’s highest award for piano playing. He was also awarded the Shirely Catarall Award and the Elsie Thurston Accompanist Prize. Iwan has enjoyed success in national and international competitions; a finalist in the keyboard category at the Royal Over-Seas League Competition in 2016 and, in 2014, he won first prize at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and the National Eisteddfod of Wales. He was also awarded Gregynog Young Pianist of the Year in 2013. Iwan has participated in masterclasses given by renowned pianists including Paul Badura-Skoda, Peter Frankl, John Perry, Nelson Goerner, Pascal Rogé, Phillippe Cassard, Vovka Ashkenazy, Kathryn Stott, David Owen Norris and Stefano Fiuzzi. He has also received chamber music coaching from Susan Tomes, Peter Cropper, Petr Prause, Natalie Klouda, Leonard Elschenbroich and Qian Wu. Iwan also has much experience as a chamber musician and accompanist. He joined Ensemble Cymru in 2019, an ensemble focused on bringing chamber music to audiences in and around Wales, and was accepted on to the Live Music Now scheme in 2016. He has also enjoyed working closely with many of the RNCM’s vocal teachers, including Louise Winter, Sandra Dugdale, Susan Roper and Mathew Best.
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Ivan Hovorun – Pianist

Ivan Hovorun is forging a reputation as one of the most acutely perceptive and insightfully intelligent musicians of our time. Born in Ukraine, Ivan’s  piano studies began with his mother, herself a talented professional musician, at the age of five and at the age of six went on to study at the Krushelnytska Music High School. Ivan first performed for the public of his native city at the age of nine. He was only eleven when he first performed with a full orchestra, since when he has been invited to perform annually with the Lviv Symphony Orchestra. Ivan chose to pursue his higher musical studies in England, having been awarded a scholarship in 2004 to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, from which he graduated with a Master of Music degree in 2011. Participating in masterclasses led by Howard Shelley, Barry Douglas, Stephen Hough, Charles Rosen, Peter Donohoe, Imogen Cooper, Stephen Kovacevich, Vovka Ashkenazy, Jean Efflam Bavouzet, Francois-Joel Thiollier, Boris Petrushansky, Eliso Virsaladze, Dmitry Bashkirov and Arie Vardi. Ivan has also studied with Graham Scott, Nelson Goerner, Alexander Melnikov and Michel Beroff. Ivan has performed with major Eastern and Western European orchestras as diverse as the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine and the Manchester Camerata, Collegium Musicum. His extensive list of artistic collaborations has seen him work with Kenneth Woods, John Traill, Andre de Ridder, Clarc Rudell, Gordan Nikolitch. In past seasons Ivan’s festival and orchestral appearances have included Scarlatti, Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin and Rachmaninov Festivals at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, the International Rachmaninov Conference in the same city, and the James Macmillan Festival, Alexander Goehr Festival and Judith Weir Festival  at the Wigmore Hall in London and at the RNCM and the Buckingham Summer Festival. Ivan’s solo recitals encompassing a diverse collection of venues including Italy’s Saluzzo, Sermoneta, Imola and Ragusa Ibla, Sicily; London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields, St James’s Piccadilly, St Lawrence Jewry, One Moorgate Place, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and Chetham’s School of Music, and a wealth of English cathedrals including Lincoln, Blackburn, Chichester, Ripon, Chichester and Southwell Minster.  Ivan is the winner of numerous competition prizes and scholarships, including the Ragusa Ibla International Piano Competition (Italy), the Farbotony National Piano Competition (Ukraine), the Premio Speciale Accademia di Imola (Italy), the Intercollegiate Sheepdrove Piano Competition, the Philharmonia Orchestra Martin Musical Scholarship, the Myra Hess Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, the Hattori Foundation Award, the Grant from the Solti Foundation, the Yamaha UK Scholarship, and the John Halsall Scholarship. Mr Hovorun’s recordings include Lvov TV Young Musician (Ukraine, 1994), the Radio Live Farbotony Competition (2001), Chandos Chan 10455 RNCMWO/Rundell: Liszt Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Melodies at BBC Studio 7, Manchester (2007), and a MIFCO promotional CD/DVD Recording Duet (2011), Stoller Hall (2017), Halle St Peters (2020, 2021).
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Taisiia Holovko – Saxophonist

24-year-old Taisiia Holovko was born in Ukraine in the small town of Fastiv in the Kyiv region. Since childhood, she was immersed in music, the love of which was instilled by her mother, a professional pianist, vocalist, and teacher. From the age of 4, she attended a music school, where she began her musical education with choir, vocal, and piano lessons. Later, Taisiia fell in love with the sound of the classical saxophone, so she chose this as her main area of study. After graduating with honours from a music school in 2015, she entered the top music institution in Ukraine – the R. Glier Kyiv Municipal Academy of Music studying classical saxophone. She continues to study there remotely from the UK. In July, she was awarded a full, two-year scholarship at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Taisiia ​​is a laureate of many Ukrainian and international competitions where she has won multiple awards and prizes.
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Alex Dakin – Accompanist

Alex comes from Congleton, Cheshire. He first started playing the piano at 7 years old, and went on to study Composition, Piano, and Cello at Chetham’s School of Music. Afterwards, he went to Manchester University to study music, where he was taught piano by Andrew Wilde. He has performed in numerous recitals with repertoire ranging from Bach to Chopin to Schoenberg to Magnus Lindberg, while also premiering new works. Alex is experienced as an accompanist, and has played for soloists of all levels from students taking ABRSM/Trinity exams to collaborative recitals with experienced soloists. He currently works as a pianist in Opera North’s education department for the In Harmony programme -which delivers music education to schools in south Leeds – alongside a many other projects. Alex is also a composer. His works have been performed by – among others – the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Ensemble le ISIS, Theatre of the Ayre, and the Aurora Orchestra. Recently, his piece ‘Sinfonietta’ was performed by the Oxford Philharmonic and conducted by Cayenna Ponichonne-Bailey, in a programme that also featured a performance by Maxim Vengarov.
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Brennan & Buchanan

Singer-songwriter Esther Brennan, accompanied by Ian Buchanan on dobro and mandolin, perform a selection of beautiful, heartfelt and personal songs. Esther and Ian have performed at Clonter on a number of occasions both on the Clonter stage as well as part of the Ramsey Room Sessions, and generously donating their time, talent and immense heart at the annual Clonter Fair in aid of Cancer Research and this year to Ukraine. Esther and Ian will be joined by the folk duo Bakerfield.  https://brennanandbuchanan.bandcamp.com/releases
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Bakerfield

Bakerfield are a Staffordshire-based duo playing Americana music ranging from Steve Earle to Cajun to Pete’s original songs. They say; “Our goal is simple: to take our audience on a journey with us, and have them laughing one minute and crying the next!” They have established themselves as an outstanding live act that makes every performance an intimate musical experience never to be forgotten.
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Ticket Pricing & Booking Information

Tickets £20, Students & Children (Under 16), & Ukrainians & Hosts* £10

Doors Open 6pm

Performance Starts 7pm

Interval 30 minutes; picnic tables available

Dress Code Casual

*Book through Box Office Only
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Drink Arrangements – Since May, the bar has been under new management, and all drink consumed inside the premises must be purchased from the bar. These may be ordered in advance.
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WINE & BAR LIST

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N.B. Table booking facilities close a week before the performance date. Pre-order drinks facilities close at 4pm the day before a performance.
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