Zaderatsky, Vsevolod

Zaderatsky, Vsevolod [Задерацький, Всеволод], b 21 December 1891 in Rivne, d 1 February 1953 in Lviv. Composer, pianist, writer, and educator. He studied law at Moscow University while at the same time studying piano, composition, and conducting at Moscow Conservatory. According to some sources, he was a private music teacher to Aleksei, the son of Tsar Nicholas II. Perhaps as a result of his close association with the tsar’s family, after the October Revolution of 1917 Zaderatsky decided to join the ranks of the Russian Volunteer Army led by Anton Denikin. Following the Russian Civil War, he taught music at a music school in Riazan. Arrested by the Bolsheviks in 1921, he was, reportedly, saved from execution by Feliks Dzherzhinsky who was impressed by his virtuoso piano playing. Zaderatsky completed his studies at Moscow Conservatory in 1923 and started a career as a pianist. Arrested again in 1926, he was imprisoned for three years and all of his music compositions were destroyed. In 1930 he was allowed to settle in Moscow and work as a composer for the All-Union Radio. In 1934 he was sent from Moscow to Yaroslavl to teach at a local music college. Arrested again in 1937, he was sentenced to 10 years in labor camps. He served his sentence in Magadan oblast in the Far East, where he created, together with other political prisoners, a symphony orchestra. He was released as a result of an amnesty in 1940 and spent the years of the Second World War in Kazakhstan. Zaderatsky returned to Ukraine in 1945. Initially (1945–9) he taught at a music school in Zhytomyr. In 1949 he moved to Lviv and until the end of his life taught at Lviv Conservatory.

The majority of Zaderatsky’s music compositions have been destroyed by Soviet authorities during various arrests and imprisonments. His surviving works include two operas, several symphonic compositions (including Symphony No. 1, 1951), chamber music, choral works (eg, the Suite on Ukrainian Folk Texts [1950] and a choral poem dedicated to Viktor Kosenko [1948]), and art songs. Perhaps his most accomplished compositions are for piano; they include five sonatas, a suite, an outstanding cycle of 24 preludes and fugues (composed in a labor camp in 1937–8), as well as smaller piano cycles and individual pieces. Zaderatsky also wrote two plays and an unfinished novel.

Marko Robert Stech

[This article was written in 2021.]

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