Worthing date for Ukraine-born pianist: "It just feels like civil war"

Ukraine-born pianist Dinara Klinton admits she just cannot imagine how the conflict in her home country is ever going to be resolved.

Dinara Klinton...
Dinara Klinton...

“The thing is that it just should not be happening,” says Dinara who is the soloist in the

May Jubilations concert with Worthing Symphony Orchestra in Worthing’s Assembly Hall on Sunday, May 22 at 2.45pm.

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Dinara was due to be performing with the WSO in Worthing in 2020, a concert which was cancelled with just days to go when the lockdown descended.

She is delighted to be back – but clearly deeply troubled by the events back home.

The horror for Dinara, who grew up in Ukraine and studied in Moscow, is that she has lived in both places: “It feels almost like a civil war. I know good smart people in both places. Both countries have given me my education and I know people who live close to the border, either side, and it is just so terrible for them.”

Dinara’s music education started in the age of five in her native Kharkiv, Ukraine. She graduated with highest honours from the Moscow Central Music School and the Moscow State Conservatory P I Tchaikovsky.

“I live close to Wimbledon now and I came to this country in September 2012. I came to study at the Royal College of Music and I just stayed. It took me those three years to establish myself here and to build some contacts and to start understanding how things worked over here and I just thought that if I went back I would be missing out on my best opportunities.

“I was starting to get known and I was starting to feel almost confident. It was a major change for me but I have always lived in big cities. Where I was born in Ukraine was a population of just over 12 million and then I moved to Moscow but even so coming to London was a major change and I guess it feels like home now.

“But what is happening in the Ukraine is terrible. I have lived in Ukraine and in Russia and it just should not be happening. You just think that somehow it should have been possible to find a way to stop this. I remember thinking that when the Russians were gathering on the border that it wasn't just going to happen, that they were just having a show of strength, wanting to show off their arms and that would be it. I could not believe it when the war happened. I was having a nightmare and then I woke up at about 4am and I looked at my phone and I realised that the war had begun and that it was far worse than any nightmare. I just don't know how it is going to end. I have no idea what is going to happen. I started doing a few fundraising concerts to begin with.”

The resolve and the resilience of the Ukrainian people have been remarkable: “They have a very strong spirit and now they have gathered it together. But there will be trauma from this for so many years to come. It just should not be happening now in this world.”

The Worthing concert programme will be: Elgar – Imperial March; Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor; Rossini – William Tell Overture; and Dvorak – Symphony No. 8 in G major.