Verkhovynets, Vasyl

Image - Vasyl Verkhovynets

Verkhovynets, Vasyl [Верховинець, Василь; Verxovynec', Vasyl'] (pseud of Vasyl Kostiv), b 5 January 1880 in Staryi Mizun, Dolyna county, Galicia, d 11 April 1938 in Kyiv. Composer, ethnographer, conductor, folklorist, and teacher. He taught singing at the Poltava Pedagogical Institute and the Lysenko Music and Drama Institute in Kyiv and chaired the Department of Fine Art at the Poltava Institute of People's Education (1919–32). Verkhovynets is the author of the first Ukrainian ethnochoreographic textbooks, Ukraïns’ki narodni tantsi (Ukrainian Folk Dances, 1913) and Teoriia ukraïns’koho narodnoho tanka (Theory of the Ukrainian Folk Dance, 1919; four later edns). His collection Vesnianochka (Spring Song, 1925) includes descriptions of 210 children's games with 226 songs and melodies. He wrote numerous popular songs and choral works based on Lesia Ukrainka's, Ivan Franko's, Maksym Rylsky's, and his own poems. He also arranged many folk songs, dance tunes, and theater pieces. In 1912 he wrote a detailed account of a traditional wedding in Shpychyntsi village, Skvyra county, Kyiv gubernia, which included 140 wedding songs and 70 melodies. The wedding was staged that year in Sadovsky's Theater, and an account was published with historical notes in 1914. Verkovynets was arrested in 1938 for allegedly belonging to an underground military-nationalist organization and then shot. He was ‘rehabilitated’ in 1957.

[This article was updated in 2001.]

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