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Cultural Voice of North Carolina,

April 23, 2022,

"Dr. Ugay's work, Mother Tales, comes in two movements, and, as the composer described, reflects the struggles of mothers as primary caregivers while trying to manage their own personal lives and ambitions. Many respected male composers share details of works inspired by parenthood and children, but Ugay nods to women's history of struggling not only to make names for themselves professionally, but to maintain their identities after starting a family. Since women have historically been expected to become default caregivers and homemakers, there are still relatively few stories of professional mothers in the music world. Composers like Amy Beach were given strict rules after marriage; Beach's husband asked her to limit her public performances to two a year, and the profits of those would be donated to charity to prevent her performing to be seen as a career. Despite these limitations, Beach was able to create incredible compositions and continue her work encouraging young female musicians and composers. Ugay's work manages to honor these kinds of experiences through her own highly evocative contemporary classical work.
Mother Tales' first movement, "Croon," begins with an intentionally whispery violin solo, just barely surfacing over wide, lush piano chords. The theme is soft and patient, full of dissonance but not unpleasant. It evokes the image of a harried mother singing a lullaby to an unruly child, often diverting into fast-moving technical flourishes. The instruments' rhythmic lines are often at odds, shifting constantly between soft, harmonic moments, and outbursts of worry and anxiety. Chang's tone was varied between rich singing melodies and thin, ethereal harmonics (created by pressing lightly enough on a string to evoke a whistling overtone); this effectively captured the full experience of a mother as both a vibrant professional and a sleep-deprived, thinly-stretched homemaker. The second movement, "Perpetual Delight," continued the varied emotional experience, underpinned by rhythmic, generally cheery, rhythm, but always toeing the line between jubilant and frenetic. Chang's pizzicato playing was exuberant and clear over Yang's flurry of joyful dissonance, telling stories of hectic days full of both celebration and contemplation, of joy and of introspection."

​Full article


Florrie Marshall premieres Ugay's 25-min solo viola piece A Tale of One Viola ​in her lecture-recital at the International Viola Congress organized by

the American Viola Society at River Center of Performing Arts, Columbus, GA

composer, pianist

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Liliya Ugay

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​Photocredit: Dilya Khaliulina

review of Mother Tales

06/4/2022 and 06/5/2022

Premiere of Sunsets Sunflowers for string orchestra, commissioned by the Next Festival of Emerging Artists (conductor: Peter Askim) alongside with works by Jessica Meyer, Jeff Scott, Peter Askim, and Pamela Z. Performance locations: June 4th at 6pm at Music Mountain, CT, and at 7:30pm at Roulette Intermedium, Brooklyn NY. More details and tickets