Donetsk State Music Academy

Donetsk State Music Academy (Донецька державна музична академія ім. С. Прокоф’єва; Donetska derzhavna muzychna akademiia im. S. Prokofieva). Higher school of music that existed in Donetsk between 1991 and 2014. It was founded under the name Donetsk State Conservatory in 1991 and placed under the supervision of Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Arts. Its predecessor had been Donetsk Institute of Music Pedagogy (est. 1968), initially a branch of Kharkiv Institute of Arts. It was named after Sergei Prokofiev in 1988. In 2002 the institution was reorganized as Donetsk State Music Academy. Its majors included piano, orchestra, orchestral string instruments, orchestral wind and percussion instruments, academic singing, choir direction, composition, music theory, and variety performance. Its enrollment was 809 in 2008. It operated a secondary special music school, a choir, and several orchestras (folk musical instruments, symphony, chamber, brass, and jazz). Among prominent faculty members were button accordion player Viacheslav Voievodin, domra composer Valerii Ivko, musicologist Arsenii Kotliarevsky, organist Vira Bakeieva, soprano Raisa Kolesnyk, pianist Stanislav Savari, and choir director Viktor Vakulovych.

In the spring of 2014 the academy and the city of Donetsk found themselves under the separatist rule of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR). A part of its faculty (25 people, including rector the composer Oleksii Skrypnyk) and 64 students relocated to Kyiv, first to the National Music Academy of Ukraine, then, in 2018, to Tavriia National University that had been evacuated from the Russian-occupied Crimea. Unlike most other educational institutions relocated from the Russian-occupied parts of the Donets Basin and Crimea, Donetsk State Music Academy was not reopened as a separate institution elsewhere in Ukraine, and many of its faculty and students continue to work and study at other existing universities and music academies. An institution under the same name continues to function in Donetsk under the DNR, unrecognized by Ukrainian government and the international education community.

Serhiy Bilenky

[This article was written in 2021.]

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