Kolessa, Filaret [Колесса, Філарет], b 17 July 1871 in Tatarske, Stryi county, Galicia, d 3 March 1947 in Lviv. Musicologist, folklorist, and composer; from 1909 full member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society and from 1929 of the VUAN; brother of Oleksander Kolessa, father of Mykola Kolessa. A graduate of Lviv University (1896) and Vienna University (PH D 1918), he taught at several gymnasia in Galicia before being appointed in 1939 professor at Lviv University. In the following year he became director of the Lviv Branch of the Institute of Fine Arts, Folklore, and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR and of the Ukrainian State Museum of Ethnography and Crafts.
His publications deal mainly with the origin and development of Ukrainian folklore, particularly of Ukrainian dumas. Kolessa defended the view that dumas are of folk origin. His works on Ukrainian folk songs and dumas include Ohliad ukraïns’ko-rus’koï narodnoï poeziï (A Survey of Ukrainian-Rus’ Folk Poetry, 1905), Rytmika ukraïns’kykh narodnykh pisen’ (The Rhythmics of Ukrainian Folk Songs, 1906–7), Melodiï ukraïns’kykh narodnykh dum (Melodies of Ukrainian Folk Dumas, 2 vols, 1910, 1913), ‘Variianty melodii ukraïns'kykh narodnykh dum, ïkh kharakterystyka i hrupuvannia’ (Variants of the Melodies of Ukrainian Folk Dumas, Their Characterization and Grouping, Zapysky Naukovoho tovarystva im. Shevchenka, 116–17 ), ‘Pro henezu ukraïns'kykh narodnykh dum’ (On the Genesis of Ukrainian Folk Dumas, ZNTSh, 130–2 [1920–2]), ‘Narodni pisni z halyts'koï Lemkivshchyny’ (Folk Songs from the Galician Lemko Region, Etnohrafichnyi zbirnyk [NTSh], nos 39–40 ), and Ukraïns'ka usna slovestnist' (The Ukrainian Oral Literature, 1938; repr, 1983). His studies on folk songs of Subcarpathia, Polisia, and Lemko region were pioneering works on Ukrainian musical dialects. His own compositions include choral works and arrangements of folk melodies. Some of his studies have been collected and republished posthumously in three volumes: Muzykoznavchi pratsi (Musicological Works, 1970), Fol’klorystychni pratsi (Folkloristic Works, 1970), and Muzychni tvory (Musical Compositions, 1972). A bibliographic guide to Kolessa’s work, by Myroslav Moroz, was published in 1992.
Hrytsa, S. Filaret Mykhailovych Kolessa (Kyiv 1962)
[This article was updated in 2004.]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine