Mykola Lysenko

From Academic Kids

Mykola Vitaliyovych Lysenko (October 3, 1842October 24, 1912 N.S., October 22, 1842November 6, 1912 O.S.) was a Ukrainian composer, pianist, conductor and folksong collector.

Since childhood he was very much impressed by the folksongs of Ukrainian peasants and the poetry of Taras Shevchenko. When Shevchenko died in 1861, Lysenko was a pallbearer. During his time at Kiev University, Lysenko dedicated himself to collecting and arranging Ukrainian folksongs, published in seven volumes. One of his principal sources was the minstrel Ostap Veresay (after whom Lysenko named his son later on).

Lysenko took orchestration lessons from Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov in the mid 1870s and took part in the activities of the Russian Musical Society, but his strong Ukrainian nationalism and disdain for Russian czarism kept him from achieving much success with that organization. He supported the 1905 revolution and was in jail briefly in 1907.

For his opera librettos Lysenko insisted on using Ukrainian language librettos. Tchaikovsky was impressed by Lysenko's Taras Bulba and wanted to perform the work in Moscow, but Lysenko's insistence on it being performed in Ukrainian, not Russian, prevented the performance from taking place.

In his later years, Lysenko easily raised funds to open the Ukrainian School of Music, and his death was mourned by all Ukrainians.

His music is little known outside Ukraine, and his piano works, considered derivative of Chopin, are not of as much interest to musicologists as his vocal music. Lysenko's daughter Maryana followed his footsteps as a pianist, while his son Ostap taught music in Kiev.

External Links

International Mykola Lysenko Foundation (http://www.lysenko.org.ua/en/index.htm)

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