A unique concert that intertwines the rich Ukrainian musical tradition with the legendary narratives of Persian mythology. The programme includes symphonic music from the 20th century and newly written works by composer and conductor Afshin Khaef.


Kyiv Symphony Orchestra, which has gone into exile in Germany due to the invasion of Ukraine, visits Berwaldhallen together with conductor Afshin Khaef – a musical manifestation of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Ukrainian composer Boris Lyatoshinsky’s Symphony No. 3, ”Peace Will Defeat War”, is considered to embody the Ukrainian spirit and the hopes and dreams of a nation yearning for peace. Also on the programme, the symphonic choral piece Legend of Kayumars, for two soloists, choir and orchestra. This work is based on ancient Persian mythology and tells the story of Kayumars, the first king who brought peace and enlightenment to humanity by defeating Ahriman, the god of darkness. This story echoes the overarching theme of the concert: the unwavering belief that light and peace will ultimately prevail.




Founded in 1979, the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra has become one of the most interesting cultural actors in its country in recent years. The repertoire of KSO spans from the 16th century to today’s younger generation of composers with a mission to give voice to Ukrainian musical treasures in dialogue with European masterpieces.
KSO regularly performs in Europe’s most important venues such as Berliner Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Cité de la Musique in Paris, and Warsaw Philharmonic as well as at prestigious international festivals. In 2022, the orchestra was honored to represent Ukraine in front of NATO leaders at the Madrid Summit.

Aftab, meaning “sun” in Persian, stands as a distinctive ensemble and holds a significant role within the Aftab Art Organization. It proudly claims the privilege of being the unique Persian choir in Scandinavia with a high level of productivity. Over the past decade, the choir has rendered melodious compositions from diverse cultures, in various languages. The choir’s notable achievement lies in the comprehensive representation of Eastern and Iranian cultural facets within its repertoire and membership, showcasing a harmonious blend of musical diversity. Within its mission of highlighting the production of high-quality choral performances, both as cappella and in collaboration with instrumental ensembles, the choir contributes to cultural richness, musical excellence, and the promotion of cultural inclusivity. (Photo by Hamed Rafi)

Afshin Khaef is an orchestral conductor and composer whose passion for complex orchestral music and polystylistic experimental musical composition has made him write music in various styles and for different setups. His previous programs such as ”Symphonic Odyssey 2020” and ”Persian Epilogue” have mesmerized audiences worldwide and were successfully broadcast on BBC Persian.
He has studied at the Stockholm Royal College of Music, Piteå College of Music, University of Stavanger, Latvian Academy of Music, and the University of Sussex. He is completing his doctoral degree with a specific concentration on 20th-century symphonic music. (Photo by Fahimeh Hekmat Andish).

Kristine Botros, singer and eclectic artist originally from Latvia and now based in Stockholm, Sweden, intricately weaves sampled, synthesized, and acoustic sounds to craft mesmerizing musical landscapes, drawing comparisons to Kate Bush, Björk, and Aurora. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in music production from the Royal College of Music, Kristine is currently pursuing a master’s degree, focusing on three-dimensional audio and sonic branding, showcasing her dedication to pushing the boundaries of sound and music.//

Arash Azarbad, born in 1992 in Uppsala, is an opera singer who has performed on several of Sweden’s major stages, including Malmö Opera, Göteborgsoperan, Norrlandsoperan, and Folkoperan. Later this summer he sings at Drottningholms Slottsteater in Lully’s opera ”Armide”.

Approximate concert length: 2 h (including intermission)

External organiser: Matris Event & production