Report from Kharkov

Linda has her arm around Donna's shoulder as they stand on a bridge in front of a stone castle.  Leafy hillsides are in the background.
Linda (r.) and Donna on an earlier trip to Europe.

In September, 2001, Linda Worsley was in Kharkov, Ukraine, acting as a judge in a conductors' competition there. Her symphonic piece "Sundance" was one of the pieces used in the competition.

Linda and her aunt Idonna Richins flew to Kharkov from New York on September 8-9, via Vienna, and returned to New York September 18. Of course, only two days after her arrival, New York was attacked, and Linda was terribly worried about the safety of her three grown children (Ian, Sean, and Michelle) and friends living in New York.

Thankfully, she soon was able to contact family and friends by email to assure that they were safe and participating in relief efforts in the city. The competition in Kharkov proceeded, a small victory in a sad time.

October 3, 2001

Ms. Worsley's representatives, Jeffrey James Arts Consulting, have provided photos and details of the competition.

September 18, 2001

Linda and Donna returned safetly to New York today. They flew on their originally scheduled flights and encountered no unusual delays. The airports were much less busy than usual, and customs in New York, while thorough, didn't take long to clear them through, because there were very few travelers flying just one week after the terrorist attacks.

September 14, 2001

Here is an email sent by Linda from Kharkov today:

I have printed out all the emails [from friends and family in the U.S.] and had them duplicated, so that the Americans who are here for the competition can read them.

I hope that's all right. We get nothing but CNN in Russian (not much help) and BBC World TV, which is at least in English, but tends to recycle the same news all the time.

I hope you are getting my emails... Somebody let me know, because the internet cafes in Kharkov (two of which were located with Steve's help before I left, and are only a few blocks from the concert hall) have computers that Americans would have made into landfill years ago. Sending this message will take ... oh ... ten minutes to process and send, and if my messages aren't getting through, I'll quit sending them.

The competition goes on. Lots of talented people. All the conductors want to play Sundance with their [own] orchestras. Though this [orchestra] is struggling with it ... no adequate exotic percussion, and the "high hat" cymbal indicated on the score was instead played on a tinny suspended cymbal that sounded like Chinese New Year, so I changed it to a rim shot, which sounds better. (Try explaining "rim shot" sometime to a [classically] trained Ukrainian drummer who speaks no English.) And they are really struggling with the style. But the orchestra is game, and will keep trying till they get it.

Anyway, conductors from America, Korea, and Italy want to play it next year, and wonder if I could come for the concert. Maybe by then, if I'm not afraid to fly.

We still have no idea how we will get home from Vienna. We are already slated to stay overnight in Vienna, courtesy of [the airline], since the only flight out of here is [date elided], and our flight to America is scheduled for [noon the next day]. But, I guess a few days (weeks?) in Vienna is not such a bad prospect.

Aunt Donna is a trouper and everyone here is in love with her. She has been utterly resourceful, has come to nearly every session, has her favorites she hopes will win. Today she found two Mormon missionaries in the audience.

Maestro Jordania, the founder of the competition, has courted her shamelessly, and has arranged for her to be taken by car everywhere. So she has had a good time, except for the awful news from NY.

I am anxious to get back. A couple of the people in the competition are from NY, and can't wait to get back and volunteer "to do anything anybody needs."

But who knows when we will get back. I really have lived for all your emails, but don't know if mine are going through. Please let me know.

As you can see, Linda's emails are getting through, and we hope to update this page if she has time to send more email.

You can reach Linda at 650-814-7827 or

© Copyright 2001 Linda Worsley