Dmytro Tishyn, a 16-year-old Ukrainian bassoonist who fled the Russian invasion this year, is preparing for a New York Youth Symphony concert at Carnegie Hall on Sunday.
But his thoughts are also with his family. “They’re not safe,” he said in an interview with The New York Times on Friday, “but they’re staying positive.”
As he told CNN in an earlier interview, his family is still in Ukraine, and he had just learned that his grandmother had found rocket fragments in her backyard.
“I’m always scared for them,” Tishyn said in the Times interview. “Maybe I’m more scared than they are.”
The war moved very close to his hometown, Dnipro, as Russian and Ukrainian forces traded fire across the river nearby on Monday.
Tishyn decided to leave Dnipro in February with only a backpack and his father’s bassoon. He spent 24 hours on a train to Poland, then made his way to Berlin, where he awaited a visa, and finally landed in the United States in May.
His mother traveled with him to the United States, but has returned to Ukraine. His brother, who is 21 and is eligible to serve with Ukrainian forces, stayed back with his father. Ukraine has prohibited men 18 to 60 from leaving the country.
Michael Repper, the New York Youth Symphony music director, said he was honored to have Tishyn audition in early fall and play as second bassoonist.
“He’s an unbelievable player,” Repper said. “He plays with so much soul and passion.”