Lysko, Zinovii

Lysko, Zinovii [Лисько, Зіновій; Lys'ko, Zinovij], b 11 November 1895 in Rakobovty, Kaminka-Strumylova county, Galicia, d 3 June 1969 in New York. Musicologist and composer. A former soldier of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen, he studied composition privately in Lviv under Vasyl Barvinsky and in Prague under Fedir Yakymenko, then musicology under Zdeněk Nejedlý in Prague at Charles University (1926); he completed a doctorate (1929) at the Ukrainian Free University with a dissertation on Semen Hulak-Artemovsky’s opera Zaporozhian Cossack beyond the Danube. He also studied at the Prague Conservatory under J. Suk. He taught at the Kharkiv Conservatory, the Lviv Conservatory, and the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music. After the Second World War he lived in Germany and (from 1960) the United States of America, where he taught at and was president of the Ukrainian Music Institute of America.

Lysko’s compositions are in the modern style and include symphonic works, chamber music, and piano compositions, as well as works for chorus and arrangements of Ukrainian folk songs. His writings include Muzychnyi slovnyk (Music Dictionary, 1933), Ukraïns’kyi muzychnyi leksykon (Ukrainian Music Lexicon, 1947), and other reference works, bio-historical studies, textbooks, and articles on folk music. He was editor-in-chief of the journal Ukraïns’ka muzyka (1937–9) and compiler of Spivanyk Chervonoï Kalyny (The Chervona Kalyna Songbook, 1937), which contained arrangements of Ukrainian songs for chorus. He also edited and published the religious works of Oleksander Koshyts (1970). Lysko’s magnum opus was his collection, analysis, and systematization of 11,447 Ukrainian folk songs in the 10 volume Ukraïns’ki narodni melodiï (Ukrainian Folk Melodies, 1967–86 [vols 1–8]), the largest collected body of folk songs from Eastern Europe. This undertaking took nearly 15 years to complete (1947–61) and represents the culmination of Lysko’s lifelong interest in Ukrainian folk music.

Roman Savytsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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