Nyzhankivsky, Ostap

Image - Ostap Nyzhankivsky Image - Ostap Nyzhankivsky (conductor) and the Lviv Boian choir. Image - The Provincial Home and Dairy Union in Stryi (1907) (later Maslosoiuz).

Nyzhankivsky, Ostap [Остап Нижанківський; Nyžankivs'kyj], b 24 January 1862 in Drohobych, Galicia, d 22 May 1919 near Stryi, Galicia. Priest, composer, conductor, and civic leader; father of Nestor Nyzhankivsky. He dedicated much of his energy to developing musical life in Galicia. He initiated and organized choral concert tours throughout Galicia in 1885, 1889, and 1892, organized and conducted the Boian music society choir in Berezhany (1892), and conducted the Boian choir in Lviv (1895–6) and in Stryi (1900–14). He founded the music publishing house Muzykalna Biblioteka (1885) and compiled Ukraïns'ko-rus'kyi spivanyk (Ukrainian-Ruthenian Songbook, 1907). His works for choir ‘Hulialy’ (They Danced) and ‘Z Okrushkiv’ (From Crumbs, text by Yurii Fedkovych) became very popular. He also wrote art songs for solo voice with piano accompaniment, including ‘Mynuly lita molodii’ (The Years of Youth Have Passed By); arrangements of folk songs for solo voice or choir; and Vitrohony, a cycle of kolomyika melodies for piano.

At the urging of Yevhen Olesnytsky, Nyzhankivsky brought comparable energies to bear in the economic field. He founded the first co-operative dairy (in Zavadiv) and cofounded the Provincial Home and Dairy Union in 1907 in Stryi (later renamed Maslosoiuz Provincial Dairy Union). His work as the first director of the organization was critical during its initial expansion. Nyzhankivsky was also elected to the Galician Diet in 1908–13. During the Ukrainian-Polish War in Galicia, 1918–19, he was a member of the Ukrainian National Rada and headed the Stryi county council. In 1919 he was arrested by the Polish authorities and summarily shot.

Wasyl Wytwycky

[This article was updated in 2019.]

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