Let us recall that the annual Levko Revutsky Award is presented to young composers and musicians. This year’s event is the first step in the music community’s celebration of the 125th anniversary of a founder of the 20th century Ukrainian professional school of composers.
It should be noted that the award ceremony was three weeks late. It usually takes place on February 20, the birthday of the artist. This year, though, the political storm made some corrections to the timing... The warm atmosphere of the Museum of Mykola Lysenko, where the ceremony was held and where Revutsky worked once on his Taras Bulba, Music for Kobzar, and the Second Ukrainian Rhapsody, was a clear evidence of spiritual and creative relationship between two great representatives of the Ukrainian musical culture, Lysenko and his disciple and continuator of his artistic tradition Revutsky.
Symbolically, this year’s winners, composer and pianist, serve by their very trades as a reflection of Revutsky’s diverse creative nature, as he was not only a talented composer and teacher, but also a brilliant pianist.
The jury, headed by famous composer Serhii Piliutikov, determined following winners of the Revutsky Award: composer and musicologist, author of numerous chamber instrumental and symphonic works Oleksii Voitenko from Kyiv, and pianist (performer of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, and contemporary Ukrainian authors’ compositions, winner of the 5th International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz and winner of the Person of the Year 2003 in the category “Young Talent of the Year”) Dina Pysarenko from Donetsk.
The procedure for presenting the Revutsky Award has been well developed over the years, with its “protocol” including speeches by the National Union of Composers of Ukraine chairperson Ihor Shcherbakov and the award’s first laureate composer Viktor Stepurko, greetings from guests, friends and of course, the great-grandson of the famous composer, Taras Revutsky, who, following the tradition established as early as by the maestro’s son Yevhen Revutsky, presented the new winners with sheet music from the family library.
This time, though, even mandatory actions that usually accompany the award ceremony were exclusive shows, as the winners created unique presentations. Pysarenko’s performance was “a real bomb,” according to the event’s host, long-term researcher and promoter of the Revutsky’s works, music expert Valentyna Kuzyk. The pianist offered her own, Liszt-influenced virtuoso take on the overture to the opera Taras Bulba, which became a symbol of Ukrainian mentality. Let us recall that Revutsky put a lot of effort into editing this opera.
Voitenko presented his work Poem for Piano performed by Arsenii Yakovenko.
Exclusives of that evening also included Kuzyk’s report on the freshly rediscovered short documentary from 1959, which filmed the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Revutsky, a work of contemporary artist Natalia Synyshyn picturing the maestro, and premiere performance by students of the Kyiv Gliere Institute of Music of the master’s String Quartet, restored from the author’s sketches by composer Viktoria Poliova (Revutsky Award winner of 1995).
Another centerpiece of the evening at the museum was presentation of the special issue of Muzyka magazine, entirely dedicated to Revutsky. The materials presented in it are exclusive and include the composer’s autobiography, memories of his friends, interviews, articles, and unpublished sheet music, all of them making their first appearance in print and being to some extent the final result of research into Revutsky’s life and work. Thus, the Revutsky memorial year has started, and we will see the master from the new perspectives which are iconic and exclusive.