Ukrainian musical life in Galicia saw some significant developments in the early 19th century. The main focus of Ukrainian musical life was in Peremyshl, where a distinctive 'Peremyshl school' of choral music was initiated by Mykhailo Verbytsky and Ivan Lavrivsky. The group had close connections with the Peremyshl Choir (est 1829) and the Peremyshl Music School, and influenced the work of subsequent composers, such as Viktor Matiuk, Sydir Vorobkevych (in Bukovyna), and Anatol Vakhnianyn. A second trend in Ukrainian musical life of this period was the development of an interest in Ukrainian folk music. The general level of musical life in Western Ukraine was raised by the establishment of a singing school in Lviv, initially through the Saint Cecilia Society begun in 1826 through the efforts of Franz Xaver Mozart, and then with the founding of the Lviv Conservatory in 1830. The latter school, however, functioned largely as a Polish institution and did not actively foster Ukrainian musical devlopment. A great influence on the development of Ukrainian music in Western Ukraine was exerted by Mykola Lysenko's work in Russian-ruled Ukraine and the Ukrainian national school of music established by him. Ukrainian music activists in Galicia were able to organize extensive studies of Ukrainian folk songs and establish printing houses for the publication of music, while the Boian music society built an effective network of musical centres throughout the region. In this milieu composers such as Filaret Kolessa, Ostap Nyzhankivsky, Denys Sichynsky, Henryk Topolnytsky, and (later) Stanyslav Liudkevych and Vasyl Barvinsky were able to come to the fore and establish a degree of professionalism in all aspects of musical culture. As well, the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music was established in Lviv in 1903 to foster futher Ukrainian musical development. It was able to establish a full network throughout Galicia before it was dismantled with the Soviet invasion of 1939... Learn more about Ukrainian composers in Western Ukraine before the Second World War by visiting the following entries:


VERBYTSKY, MYKHAILO, b 4 March 1815 in Yavornyk Ruskyi, Sianik circle, Galicia, d 7 December 1870 in Mlyny, Yavoriv county, Galicia. Composer, conductor, and Catholic priest. Typical of the semiprofessional composers in 19th-century Galicia, he studied in the Peremyshl Cathedral Music School with A. Nanke and later took private lessons with F. Lorenz. As a choral music composer, Verbytsky was particularly strongly influenced by the tradition of choral concertos of Dmytro Bortniansky. His compositions for mixed and male choir constitute part of the ‘Peremyshl school’ of choral music. He composed music for the Divine Liturgy (1847) and numerous religious hymns. In the late 1840s he began writing music for theatrical performances and completed incidental music for 18 plays, operettas, and vaudevilles. He wrote several symphonies, but most of them remain unfinished. Verbytsky is best known for composing the Ukrainian national anthem Shche ne vmerla Ukraina (Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished, to a text by Pavlo Chubynsky, composed in 1862-3). His other significant contributions consist of a number of overtures and polonaises for orchestra; and choral music to texts by Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Hushalevych, Yurii Fedkovych, and Markiian Shashkevych...

Mykhailo Verbytsky


MANDYCHEVSKY, YEVSEVII, b 17 August 1857 in Molodiia, Chernivtsi county, Bukovyna, d 13 July 1929 in Vienna. Musicologist, composer, and conductor. A son of an Orthodox priest, Mandychevsky grew up in Chernivtsi where he studied music under Sydir Vorobkevych. He continued his studies under R. Fuchs and M. Nottebohm in Vienna, his home from 1875. In 1880 he became conductor of the Vienna Singakademie and archivist of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. In 1896–1921 he was a professor at the Vienna Academy of Music as well as the Vienna Conservatory, teaching music history, composition, and instrumental science. His students included K. Boehm, G. Szell, and C. Prohaska. Mandychevsky was also engaged as a researcher, editor, and publisher of the collected works of Joseph Haydn, and worked on collections by Franz Schubert, Johann Sebastian Bach, and his close personal friend Johannes Brahms. He also wrote a study of Sydir Vorobkevych. His musical works included piano pieces, choruses, and art songs, a number of which used Ukrainian texts (such as two choral compositions to the lyrics of Taras Shevchenko)...

Yevsevii Mandychevsky


SICHYNSKY, DENYS, b 2 October 1865 in Kliuvyntsi, Husiatyn county, Galicia, d 6 June 1909 in Stanyslaviv. Composer, conductor, and teacher. He received his musical training in Ternopil and at the Lviv Conservatory (1888-91) and then organized and conducted the choral association Boian in Lviv, Kolomyia, Stanyslaviv, and Peremyshl. From 1899 he lived in Stanyslaviv, where he founded a music school and organized the Muzychna Biblioteka music publishing association, which printed numerous works by Ukrainian composers. He was also active in establishing the Union of Song and Music Societies. Sichynsky is considered to be the first professionally trained Ukrainian composer in Galicia. His compositions include the opera Roksoliana (libretto by V. Lutsyk and Stepan Charnetsky, 1908); works for symphony and chamber orchestras; piano solos; choral music, including the cantata Lichu v nevoli dni i nochi (I Count the Days and Nights in Bondage; text by Taras Shevchenko); a score for a liturgy; approximately 20 art songs for solo voice to texts by T. Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Lesia Ukrainka, Bohdan Lepky, Uliana Kravchenko, and Heinrich Heine; and arrangements of folk songs. His biography, by Stefaniia Pavlyshyn, was published in Kyiv in 1956 (2nd edn, 1980). Sichynsky's complete art songs were published in Canada in 2016 by the Ukrainian Art Song Project...

Denys Sichynsky


LIUDKEVYCH, STANYSLAV, b 24 January 1879 in Jaroslaw, d 12 September 1979 in Lviv. Composer, musicologist, folklorist, and pedagogue; member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society since 1935. He studied in Lviv under M. Soltys and in Vienna under O. Zemlinsky and H. Gredener (composition and instrumentation) and G. Adler (musicology), where he obtained a PH D in 1907 with a dissertation on program music. In 1908 he was appointed director of the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music, and in 1919 he became an inspector of its branches and a lecturer in music theory. From 1939 he taught at the Lviv Conservatory and then held the Chair of Composition until his retirement in 1972. Liudkevych began composing choral works while still a gymnasium student. His symphonic cantata The Caucasus (1902-13), inspired by Taras Shevchenko's poem, is considered one of the most eminent works in Ukrainian music of that time. He composed several other compositions for choir and orchestra. He also wrote a piano trio, minor works for the piano and the violin, solo art songs, and arrangements of folk songs and songs of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen. In his later period, he composed several orchestral works, insluding symphonies and symphonic poems, and the opera Dovbush. Liudkevych played an important part in developing musical culture in Ukraine through his activity in the Boian society and in the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music. His compositions are characterized by highly professional skill and a tendency toward monumentalism and drama...

Stanyslav Liudkevych


BARVINSKY, VASYL, b 20 February 1888 in Ternopil, d 9 June 1963 in Lviv. composer, pianist, and musicologist. Barvinsky first studied at the Lviv Conservatory and from 1908 to 1914, in Prague under V. Novak. From 1915 to 1939 Barvinsky taught at and was director of the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music in Lviv. From 1939 to 1941 and from 1944 to 1948, he was a professor at the Lviv Conservatory. He was an organizer of the musical life of Lviv, a member of the editorial board of the journal Ukraïns'ka muzyka, and president of the Union of Ukrainian Professional Musicians. Barvinsky taught many pianists and composers. In 1948 he was sentenced by the Soviet authorities to ten years' imprisonment. Released in 1958, he spent most of his remaining years trying to reconstruct his works that had been destroyed by the NKVD at the time of his arrest. Barvinsky was a neoromantic composer who leaned towards impressionism, and his work was always characterized by a soft lyricism. He cultivated primarily instrumental forms. Among his works are Ukrainian Rhapsody for orchestra; string quartets; a sonata, variations, and a suite for the cello; violin pieces; and a piano concerto, a cello concerto, two trios, preludes, miniatures, a sextet, the cycle Love, and Ukrainian Suite for piano. He also wrote the vocal solos, art songs to the poetry of Ivan Franko and other poets, several cantatas, and arrangements of folk songs...

Vasyl Barvinsky


KOLESSA, MYKOLA, b 6 December 1903 in Sambir, Galicia, 8 June 2006 in Lviv. Composer, conductor, and educator; son of Filaret Kolessa. A graduate of the Prague Conservatory (1928) and its School of Master Artists (1931), where he studied under Vratislav Novak. In Prague he also studied harmony under Fedir Yakymenko at the Ukrainian Higher Pedagogical Institute. Kolessa taught at the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music (1931-9) and then at the Lviv Conservatory, where he also served as rector (1953-65). Among his students were Stepan Turchak and Yurii Lutsiv. At the same time he conducted the Lviv Symphony Orchestra (1940-53), the orchestra of the Lviv Theater of Opera and Ballet (1944-7), and Boian, Banduryst, and Trembita choirs. As a composer, Kolessa used Lemko and Hutsul folklore material, to which he applied modern technique. His compositions include two symphonies, The Ukrainian Suite (1928), Symphonic Variations (1931), a suite for string orchestra In the Mountains (1935), a piano quartet, a piano suite Portraits of the Hutsul Region (1934), Fantastic Prelude (1938), Autumn Prelude (1969), and other piano pieces, arrangements of folk songs, and The Lemko Wedding for a mixed choir and a string quartet. He wrote Osnovy tekhniky dyryhuvannia (The Foundation of Conducting Technique, 1960; repr, 1973)...

Mykola Kolessa

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