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Apogee Provides Awards and Grants to Nine of Ukraine's Most Gifted Musicians in Collaboration with the Nation's Leading Music Schools

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New York (APOGEE FOUNDATION) - The Apogee Foundation, a New York nonprofit dedicated to the development of human excellence in the performing arts, today announced that it is providing eight Excellence Awards to students and instructors of the historic Stolyarsky State Music School in Odessa, Ukraine's leading institution for the training of gifted young musicians, and that it also is providing its The Cherkassy Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts to the most promising musician at the Demutsky State Music School, the leading school for gifted musicians in central Ukraine.

Apogee's Excellence Awards are provided to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in achieving, or enabling others to achieve, the apogee of human excellence in the performing arts. Students receive awards in the form of Apogee Merit Scholarships, whereas instructors are eligible for the Foundation's Achievement Award. Detailed information describing all of Apogee's award programs in both English and Russian can be found on the Foundation's website at: and

The Stolyarsky State Music School was founded in 1933 and counts among its graduates some of the most revered performing artists in history, including David Oistrakh, Nathan Milstein and Emil Gilels. Laureates of the current awards were selected by a jury co-chaired by the Minister of Culture for Ukraine's Odessa Province, Yuri Kuznetsov, together with the Director of the Stolyarsky School, Eugene Lisuk, and Apogee President Kenneth Schneider. The newly announced 2005/2006 Apogee Merit Scholars selected by this jury are: Akim Anum-Dorhuso (piano), Vladislav Agramakov (piano), Yanina Sharopanovskaya (violin), Sergey Maiboroda (violin), Olga Zadorojnuk (piano), Alexander Lisuk (cello), and Sergey Nikituk (piano). Another set of awards is to be provided later this year at a festival to be jointly conducted by Apogee and the Ministry of Culture, where gifted musicians from throughout the entire Odessa Province as well as Apogee laureates from other nations will participate.

Apogee also announced that it has awarded the inaugural Stolyarsky Honorarium for Excellence in Education, a special edition of the Foundation's Achievement Award named in honor of the founder of the Stolyarsky School, Peter S. Stolyarsky, to the school's senior cello instructor, Pavel G. Kupin. Professor Kupin was himself a student of Mistislav Rostropovich and has taught at both the Stolyarsky School and the Odessa Conservatory for decades, passing on the great traditions both of his teacher and of these preeminent institutions to future generations. He also is the teacher of Alexander Lisuk, who was judged the top performer of this year's audition performances.

In addition to its Excellence Awards, the Foundation provides Regional Awards to world class performing artists from designated geopolitical regions in order to promote local development of performing arts training and to offer high potential candidates from these regions opportunities for international support and recognition. The Cherkassy Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts is made available each year to the most promising performing arts student in or from the Cherkassy Province of central Ukraine. This award is made in honor of the great violinist Mischa Elman, who was born in this province and who exemplifies the elite artistic talent which can emerge from remote areas to achieve the apogee of human excellence on the world stage.

Apogee is assisted in the administration of its Cherkassy Award by the Talnoye Benevolent and Cultural Society as well as by the administration of the Demutsky State Music School, which is the leading training institution for gifted musicians in central Ukraine. A jury including the Director of the Demutsky School, Pavel Melnik, Odessa Conservatory professor Igor Boruch, and Apogee President Kenneth Schneider selected Bogdan Dekhtyaruk, a 13 year old trumpet prodigy and grand prize winnder of multiple national and international competitions, to receive the inaugural Cherkassy Award and its accompanying scholarship.

Yuri Kuznetsov, Minister of Culture for the Odessa Province of Ukraine, said: "The Apogee Foundation is a welcome partner in fulfilling our aim of achieving excellence in the performing arts throughout our province, our nation, and the world. We look forward to building a brighter future together for talented artists and for everyone who benefits from empowering them to fulfill their potential."

Eugene Lisuk, Director of the Stolyarsky School, said: "We are delighted to partner with Apogee in recognizing and supporting Ukraine's most promising young artists, and look forward to all that we can achieve together for many years to come.'

Pavel Melnik, Director of the Demutsky School, said: "We are grateful to Apogee for their efforts to build a future where talented people in our region and around the globe can be recognized for their gifts and can be assisted in fulfilling their dreams."

Apogee President Kenneth Schneider said: 'Ukraine's traditions of producing world class performing artists are as great as those of any nation on Earth, and it is a great privilege to collaborate with these institutions which have played such an important role in such a magnificent history, and to insure that they will continue to thrive in the new millennium.'

For more information on Apogee's programs throughout Ukraine, please refer to the Foundation's earlier press release:

Both English and Russian language versions of this news release with full photographic content, as well as printer friendly and PDF formats, can be found at: and

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