Savytsky, Roman

Savytsky, Roman [Савицький, Роман; Savyc’kyj], b 11 March 1907 in Sokal, Galicia, d 12 January 1960 in Philadelphia. Concert pianist, educator, and critic. He studied piano with Vasyl Barvinsky at the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music in Lviv (1923–7) and with J. Herman at the Prague State Conservatory, where in 1932 he graduated from the master school for pianists in the class of V. Kurz. He performed extensively in 1932–52 as soloist with symphony orchestras and in recitals in Ukraine, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, and the United States, and also performed on radio in Prague, Lviv, Kyiv, and Philadelphia. In the 1930s he taught piano at the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music (Lviv, also Stryi and Sambir branches), and in 1939–41 he was assistant professor and dean of the piano department at the Lviv Conservatory. In 1941–4 he worked as music editor and music director at Lviv Radio. He subsequently emigrated to Germany, where he founded and directed Ukrainian music schools in Karlsfeld and Berchtesgaden (1945–9). After his arrival in Philadelphia (1949) he became a faculty member of the Settlement Music School and of the Philadelphia Conservatory.

From 1952 Savytsky was involved in the formation and development of the Ukrainian Music Institute of America, of which he was the first director (1952–9). His students included Virko Baley, I. Kondra-Fedoryka, Z. Krawciw-Skalsky, O. Kryshtalsky, N. Nedilsky-Slobodian, Yurii Oliinyk, Juliana Osinchuk, Roman Savytsky Jr, M. Shlemkevych-Savytsky, and Ivan Zadorozhny. Savytsky's methodological study, Osnovni zasady fortpiannoї pedahohiky (Basic Principles of Piano Teaching), a synthesis of his long experience as a music instructor, appeared posthumously in Lviv in 1994 (edited by Nataliia Kashkadamova). His role as a teacher has been evaluated by Kashkadamova, Liudmyla Sadova, and others, while his work as a concert pianist was analyzed by Roman Savytsky Jr. in a separate discography (1996).

Roman Savytsky Jr.

[This article was updated in 2012.]

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