Brilliant sibling musicians thank the people of Kerry for all their help on arriving here as refugees
Five classically-trained musical siblings from Ukraine make a magnificent return to the Tínteán Theatre in Ballybunion on Friday evening where, this time, two of their number will take centre stage with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland.
Kseniia, Yevlaliia, Olena, Natalia and Sofia Ershova first performed as a group at the theatre to a fantastic reception back on May 28. That time, they delivered a recitation in the lobby of the massive centre ahead of a performance by the National Orchestra of Ireland in the main auditorium.
So impressed was the National Orchestra directors by the siblings’ talents that they were invited back to perform on stage with the National Youth Orchestra, starting today (Friday) at 6.30pm. The Ershova girls were trained at the Ukraine’s most prestigious conservatory, and are now continuing their studies at the Cork School of Music.
Eldest sisters Yevlaliia and Kseniia will take to the stage in Ballybunion this evening. And as they do so they give thanks to the people of North Kerry for showing them kindness on what was their second desperate flight from the brutality of Putin’s regime.
“Our musical path began 12 years ago,” Kseniia said.
"I was only five when my mom brought me to the music school. The very next year, my younger sister Yevlaliia began also to play the violin with me. She was only four then. We played duets together, took part in concerts and won some competitions.
“But in 2014, Russia occupied Crimea, we lost our home, and our first ‘musical mother’ - the first teacher. We were forced to move to Odessa and start a new life.
“Thank God, we were not sad for long, because we immediately started preparing for admission to one of the best music schools in Ukraine - the legendary Stolyarsky school. When we got there, the whole family was happy.
“And for the next eight years, my four younger sisters and I successfully studied at this school. We participated in many musical projects and master classes with famous musicians who considered our school by Stolyarskiy as temple of music.
“Unfortunately, Russia again decided to break our life. And on February 24, the full scale invasion broke out in our beloved Ukraine and we had to leave home again,” Kseniia recounted.
It was a family connection that prompted them to choose Ireland over other destinations of refuge.
“Dad's friends helped us come to Ireland.
“Ireland received us so warmly that we didn’t expect. We have been helped, helped a lot. Since the departure from Ukraine was quick and unplanned, we could not take our instruments with us. But we didn't give up again. We asked for help and people of Tarbert found instruments for us,” Kseniia said, adding:
“We managed to get in touch with the Cork School of Music, and as a result, we were accepted and we started studying there.
“On May 28, our family mini concert took place in Ballybunion.
“Thank you lovely Ireland for your concern, for the fact that there is more good in the world than evil, and for saving us from war.”