NEW YORK (PIX11) — Imagine fleeing your war-torn homeland of Ukraine and coming to the US with dreams of becoming a professional musician in the states.
That’s the journey of a 16-year-old Ukrainian bassoonist who just made his debut at Carnegie Hall.
Each one of the teenaged musicians of the New York Youth Symphony are super talented and special, but Dmytro Tishyn is a standout.
The teen fled war-torn Ukraine with his mother, a backpack and his father’s bassoon, then made his way to the US to be safe and play in this orchestra.
“I’m really glad to be here,” Tishyn said. “It’s probably the best youth orchestra in the world.”
The teen is a wonderful bassoonist, New York Youth Symphony Executive Director Shauna Quill said.
“When the family contacted us in the spring that they were trying to get him over here, we tried to help,” Quill said. “We did our best. Unfortunately, his visa was still passed over, but when the Biden administration changed the policy, he was here within two days and we were so excited.”
Before the concert, Dima, as he is called, warmed up with a Vivaldi concerto on his father’s bassoon. His father is a professional bassoonist back in their homeland.
The teen said that as he plays, he is always worrying about the safety of his parents: his mother had to return to Ukraine and his older brother, a 21-year-old percussionist, is still in their hometown of Dnipro.
Ukraine prohibits men age 18 to 60 from leaving the country.
Just last week, the teen said his grandmother found rocket fragments in her backyard.
“I am thinking about them all the time and I talk to them a lot, but it’s still not enough,” he said. “I still miss them.”
In honor of Tishyn joining their orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony played the Ukrainian national athem to open the second half of the program.
There were tears, a standing ovation, applause and so much emotion.
Tishyn tries to call his family every day since his mother returned to Ukraine to help other family members. He currently lives with a host family on the Upper West Side and will be playing with the New York Youth Symphony again at Carnegie Hall in March.