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Maestro Edvard Tchivzhel, Director of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra was the guest speaker at the December luncheon of the Greenville County Republican  Women’s Club. He discussed his defection from the Soviet Union and his love for America.

He first visited Greenville in 1991 while serving as the associate Director of the USSR State Symphony Orchestra. He and his wife  defected to the United States at the end of the concert tour.

In 1999 the Tchivzhels attained U.S. citizenship, and Edvard accepted the position of Music Director and Conductor at the Greenville Symphony Orchestra.

The Maestro is deeply grateful   for all who helped him gain his freedom, and he expresses his appreciation at the start of every concert as he leads the audience in the national anthem.

It has become increasingly  clear that he and his wife were not the only ones to benefit from their defection 25 years ago.

It was a great treat for the Republican women to become personally acquainted with the Maestro.

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Mike Scruggs