Musical Soulmates 16

Bringing Lyrical Passion 
to the Lowcountry

Of all music, there is perhaps none more intimate than chamber music.

Characterized by small ensembles, this classical music has been described by poets as “a conversation between friends.” Most are familiar with some of chamber music’s most famous composers, such as Beethoven and Brahms; however, as this elegant form of music continues to transcend time and place, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t have to travel far to find two of the world’s most sought after musicians of the genre.

“Cellist/pianist soul-mates,” “deeply touching,” and “beautifully expressive,” are just a few accolades that critics around the globe have used to describe the Natalia Khoma – Volodymyr Vynnytsky Duo. Prior to their becoming a duo, Khoma and Vynnytsky distinguished themselves as soloists, recitalists, and chamber musicians. They have appeared with major orchestras and premier chamber music series throughout the United States and Europe. Despite the many places that their music has taken them—from New York, New York to France and Los Angeles, California to Spain—the pair chose Mount Pleasant, South Carolina as home.

Winning several awards and competitions around the world, the electrifying pair brings something remarkable to the Charleston music scene and delivers unforgettable performances.

The Post and Courier writes, “Khoma is an extremely skillful cellist, revealing all of the subtle and burnished aspects of her instrument and Rachmaninoff’s music. Reflecting incredible technique and deep musical understanding, Vynnytsky is as masterly a keyboard artist as you will ever hope to find.”

Hailing from Lviv, Ukraine, Khoma and Vynnytsky both studied at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory. However, it wasn’t until they both performed together in New York that their partnership was formed.

“We went to the same music school, and after, we went to Moscow Conservatory. But we never met,” Vynnytsky recalls.

Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Vynnytsky and Khoma were invited to New York to perform. “We met in New York when we were invited to play together,” Khoma says. “We first played together in 1992.”

In addition to their phenomenal portfolio and work as composers, performers, and musicians, the two also share their passion, knowledge, and love for music with students of the Lowcountry, day after day. Both work as professors at the College of Charleston; Khoma as Associate Professor of Cello and Director of the Charleston Music Fest, and Vynnytsky as the Director of Chamber Music. College students aren’t the only group who are privy to their amazing talents and knowledge.

They also teach young musicians of the Charleston International Music School in Mount Pleasant. For the past two years, Khoma and Vynnytsky have served as invited professors at the organization’s summer program.

“You have to have a full education and art is one of the most important aspects. If you don’t study music, then you will never know history,” Khoma says.

“It is the feeling of different times,” Vynnytsky adds.

Khoma and Vynnytsky picked up their instruments at the ages of five and three, respectively. Vynnytsky recalls that at age three, he didn’t imagine that his music would take him around the globe, but notes that his professors always spoke of the opportunities and taught the importance of hard work.

“We want people to know that we are here and that we can help … there are a lot of possibilities for young musicians in Charleston, and the opportunities to learn are incredible.”

Khoma and Vynnytsky welcome all and encourage everyone to learn more about this brilliant and elegant form of music.