Myroslav Skoryk

1938-2020, Ukraine

Myroslav Mykhailovych Skoryk (Ukrainian: Мирослав Михайлович Скорик; 13 July 1938 – 1 June 2020) was a Ukrainian composer and teacher. His music is contemporary in style and contains stylistic traits from Ukrainian folk music traditions.

Skoryk was awarded the titles People's Artist of Ukraine and Hero of Ukraine.

Early life
Myroslav Mykhailovych Skoryk was born in Lviv, on 13 July 1938. His parents were both educated in Austria at the University of Vienna, and subsequently became teachers. His father was a historian and an ethnographer, while his mother was a chemist. Although his parents did not have special musical training, his mother played piano and his father played the violin. Skoryk was exposed to music in the household from an early age, and his great aunt was the Ukrainian soprano Solomiya Krushelnytska.

Skoryk entered the Lviv Music School in 1945, but two years later his family were deported to Siberia, where he grew up. The family did not return to Lviv until 1955.

Student years

Between 1955 and 1960 Skoryk studied at the Lviv Conservatory, There he received training in musical composition and music theory; his teachers included Stanyslav Lyudkevych and Roman Simovych. Skoryk's final exam piece was Vesna ('Spring'), a cantata for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra that was based on verses by the Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko. Other piano pieces written during Skoryk's student years include a piano sonata, and V Karpatakh ('In the Carpathian Mountains'), also for solo piano.

In 1960, Skoryk enrolled in the postgraduate research program at the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with the composer Dmitry Kabalevsky. He remained there for four years. During this time, Skoryk composed symphonic, chamber, and vocal music . Some works from this period include the Suite in D major for Strings, the Violin Sonata No. 1, and the Partita No. 1 for strings, and the Variations, Blues, and Burlesque.

Teaching career
After graduating from the Moscow Conservatory in 1964, Skoryk, then 25, began his first teaching position, becoming Ukraine's youngest composition lecturer at the Lviv Conservatory, where he remained until 1966. He then accepted a position at the Kyiv Conservatory where he focused on teaching contemporary harmony techniques. His dissertation, completed in 1964, concentrated on the music of the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. Skoryk's book Struktura i vyrazhalna pryroda akordyky v muzitsi XX stolitti (The Structural Aspects of Chords in 20th Century Music) was published in 1983. His students included the composers Osvaldas Balakauskas, Ivan Karabyts and Yevhen Stankovych. Skoryk remained at the Kyiv Conservatory until 1988.

In 1963, Skoryk became the youngest member of the National Union of Composers of Ukraine. During his career, Skoryk was an active member of the union, and was co-chair with Stankovych from 2004 to 2010.

Later years
In 1996, Skoryk moved with his family to Australia, and obtained Australian citizenship, but in 1999 returned to live in Ukraine. In April 2011, Skoryk was appointed as the artistic director of the Kyiv Opera, a position he held until 2016. He died on 1 June 2020.

Skoryk was a composer, pianist and conductor. His works have been performed by ensembles and soloists that include the Leontovych Quartet, Oleh Krysa, Volodymyr Vynnytsky, Oleg Chmyr, Mykola Suk, Victor Markiw, and Alexander Slobodyanik.[citation needed] He was one of the recipients of the Ukraine's Shevchenko National Prize in 1987 for his Cello Concerto. In addition to the works listed below, he also wrote a number of smaller ensemble works, songs, and the score for more than 40 films, including Tini zabutykh predkiv (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors), and Vysokyy pereval (High Mountain Pass), which included his Melody in A minor.

Skoryk moved towards composing religious music at the end of the 20th century, these compositions include his spiritual concerto Requiem (1999); Psalms for various types of choirs (1999–2005); and the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (2005). According to the Ukrainian musicologist Liubov Kyianovska, who has written a biography of Skoryk, his spiritual compositions were "not a tribute to fashion", but "a quite natural consequence of long internal work" and the "resolution of the long process of the composer's creative evolution", and that the Liturgy is stylistically sensitive to the traditions of Ukrainian religious music.

Skoryk's religious opera Moses (2001) was the first Ukrainian opera on a biblical subject to be composed in nearly a century. The opera, which was premiered during the visit by Pope John Paul II to Ukraine in 2001, is based on a 1905 poem by Ivan Franko, which focuses upon Moses's struggles to lead his people into the Promised Land at the very end of his life; the text draws parallels between the sufferings of the Israelites and those of the people of Ukraine under the Soviets.

Data from Ukrainian Musicians and the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine.

The following is an incomplete list of works by Skoryk:

1959 – Requiem
1962 – Four Romances on verses by Taras Shevchenko for voice and piano
1964 – Chelovek (The Person), cantata for soloists, chorus and symphony orchestra (in Russian)
1970 – 0:0 v nashu polzu (0:0 to Our Win), musical comedy
1974 – Try ukrajinski vesilni pisni (Three Ukrainian Wedding Songs) for voice and symphony orchestra
1977 – Na Rusalchyn Velykden (At the Rusalkas Easter), one-act opera
1978 – Pisni Arlekina (Harlequin's Songs), children's musical
1998 – Requiem, a spiritual work for unaccompanied choir
2001 – Moses, opera after Ivan Franko (in Ukrainian)
2003 – Hamaliia, a setting of a text by Taras Shevchenko
2015 – Penitential Psalm, commemorating the "Heavenly Hundred" protesters who were shot dead by snipers during the Euromaidan in February 2014
1959 – U Karpatakh (In the Carpathian Mountains) for piano
1959 – Album Leaf for solo piano; Carpathian Rhapsody for clarinet and piano
1959 – Melody for solo piano.
1959 – Three Jazz Pieces for 4-hands piano
1960 – Vesna' (Spring), cantata on verses by Ivan Franko for soloists, chorus and symphony orchestra
1960 – Waltz for symphony orchestra
1961 – Suite for string orchestra
1961 – Variations for piano
1963 – Violin Sonata No. 1
1963 – Silnee smerti (Stronger than Death), symphonic poem
1964 – Burlesque for piano
1964 – Blues for piano
1965 – Hutsul Triptych (from the film score to Tini zabutykh predkiv (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors))
1966 – Partita No. 1 for string orchestra
1966 – Iz Dytjachoho albomu (From the Children's Album) for piano
1967 – Kamenjari (Stonecutters), ballet
1969 – Violin Concerto; Skoryk has composed 9 violin concertos in total.
1969 – Recitatives and Rondeau, piano trio
1970 – Partita No. 2 for chamber orchestra
1972 – Carpathian Concerto for symphony orchestra
1973 – Orchestral suite from Kaminnyj hospodar (Stone Host) by Lesya Ukrainka
1973 – Three Fantasies from the Lviv Lute 16th-Century Tablature – arrangement for chamber orchestra
1974 – Partita No. 3 for string orchestra
1974 – Partita No. 4 for symphony orchestra
1975 – Partita No. 5, for piano
1977 – Piano Concerto No. 1
1979 – Toccata for piano
1982 – Piano Concerto No. 2
1984 – Cello Concerto
1991 – Violin Sonata No. 2
1993 – Symphonic poem 1933, commemorating the Holodomor of 1932 – 1933
1994 – "ARIA" for cello (or violin) and piano
1996 – Partita No. 6 for string quartet
1998 – Partita no. 7 for wind quintet
2006 – The Return of the Butterfly, ballet
People's Artist of Ukraine
Hero of Ukraine (Hero of Ukraine with the Order of the State (2008));
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Stech, Marko Robert (2020). "Skoryk, Myroslav". Internet Encyclopaedia of Ukraine. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
Oliynyk, Lesya (12 July 2013). "Мирослав Скорик: "Моя професія – створювати мелодії"" Myroslav Skoryk: 'My profession is to create melodies'. The Day (Kyiv) (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
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"У Львові поховали композитора Мирослава Скорика" Composer Myroslav Skoryk is buried in Lviv. Ukrinform. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
"Leontovych String Quartet". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Vol. 3. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. 1993. Retrieved 25 August 2023.
"Лауреати Національної премії України імені Тараса Шевченка 1962–2013" Winners of the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine 1962–2013 (in Ukrainian). Taras Shevchenko National Prize Committee of Ukraine. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
Courtney, Laryssa Lapychak (10 July 2020). "Myroslav Skoryk, Ukraine's cultural icon, 81". The Ukrainian Weekly. Archived from the original on 29 March 2022. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
Oleksiuk 2019, pp. 70–71.
Helbig 2009, p. 155.
Pankevich, Halyna (2016). "Духовні композиції Мирослава Скорика" Spiritual compositions of Myroslav Skoryk (in Ukrainian). Drohobytskyi Theological Seminary. Archived from the original on 8 November 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
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"Ballet "The Return of the Butterfly"" (in Ukrainian). Music-review Ukraine. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
"Skoryk Myroslav". Taras Shevchenko National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Ukraine. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
"Про присвоєння М. Скорику звання Герой України" On awarding M. Skoryk the title of Hero of Ukraine (in Ukrainian, English, and Russian). Verkhovna Rada. 2008. Archived from the original on 28 June 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2022.

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