Myroslav Skoryk is a composer, musicologist, conductor, pianist, teacher, artistic director of the National Opera of Ukraine, laureate of Taras Shevchenko National Prize, Hero of Ukraine – and these are not all of the regalia of the great maestro. He comes from an intelligent family (he is a second cousin once removed for Solomia Krushelnytska). His famous Melody is more than a hit because it can be heard every day in a variety of places: on TV or radio programs, it can be heard from people’s homes and cars, performed by the most famous musicians and amateurs, who play in restaurants and on the streets… The older generation if asked about what songs and compositions by Skoryk they know, will sing “Namaliui Meni Nich” (Draw Me the Night), “Ne Topchit Konvalii” (Don’t Walk on the Lilies of the Valley), “Zhorzhyny” (Dahlias), “Nichne Misto” (Night City), and classics fans will name opera Moisei (Moses), Hutsul Tryptykh, Karpatsky Kontsert (Carpathian Concerto), ballets Povernennia Butterfliai (Butterfly’s Back), Kaprysy Doli (Caprices of Fate), Perekhrestia (Corssroads), a cantata on Taras Shevchenko poems Hamalia, requiem… Ardent jazz fans will remember that maestro composed many popular songs and music for more than 40 films (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Parajanov, As the Cossacks Porridge Cooked, High Pass, Geese-swans are Flying, Princess, Fox Mykyta, etc.).
Myroslav Skoryk composes music and teaches now. He taught composition to such famous artists as Yevhen Stankovych, Ivan Karabyts, Osvaldas Balakauskas, Anna Havrylets, Viktor Stepurko, Oleh Kyva, Oleksandr Kozarenko, Viktor Telychko, Ivan Nebesny, Lesia Horova, Volodymyr Zubytsky, and others. Skoryk is also a Professor of two National Music Academies in Kyiv and Lviv, artistic director of the National Opera and the International Festival “Kyiv Music Fest.” He also manages to work in the orchestra “Academy” at Lysenko Lviv National Music Academy and Academic Youth Symphony Orchestra “INSO-Lviv.” Skoryk is an honorary co-chairman of the National Union of Composers of Ukraine (together with Stankovych). Maestro lives between two cities: Lviv and Kyiv.
“Professional composer has to be able to write anything!” says Myroslav SKORYK. “You can wait for an inspiration for a long time because it either comes or doesn’t come… The process of writing music is individual for every composer. Melody can come into your head all of a sudden, at any time, even during sleep. When you work on one big idea for a long time you can’t switch your brain off, you constantly think about it even if you do something else. When something interesting comes up I try to remember it and then come home and put it down. I think that I have a great joy to be able to write music and apply myself in something that I love.”
For a month concerts, performances, and music nights will take place at the National Opera, Philharmonic Society, the Great Hall of the National Music Academy of Ukraine, and National Academy of Arts of Ukraine.
Opera Moses will open “The Days of Music of Myroslav Skoryk.” Soloist of the National Opera of Ukraine Serhii Mahera will perform the major party and Fahraddin Kerimov (Azerbaijan) will take the conductor’s stand. Moses reflects an international theme and it affects all people, especially those, who are fighting for their independence and build their country. Like the characters of Ivan Franko’s poem which was used as the basis for libretto by Bohdan Stelmakh, Ukraine is also trying to find its way in a stormy sea of internal and external problems. Sometimes it rushes forward and then throws itself in different directions. Life situations and characters are repeated as if the ghosts of Moses. The poem was written in 1905, but it seems that is tells the story of today!
“I had the idea of Moses for a long time,” said Skoryk. “It was suggested by my father (he was a historian by profession). However, various circumstances would not allow me to carry out this plan. When the director of the Lviv Opera Tadei Eder offered to write Moses for their theater, I happily agreed. It took two years to realize the idea. We had problems with sponsors. Eder knocked on all doors. He even spoke with Liubomyr Huzar. It was him who passed our letter on to the Pope. Pope John Paul II liked our idea to create an opera on the biblical story. I wrote this opera on three continents. First I worked in Lviv, then I moved to America, and then to Australia.”
The premiere of the opera took place at Solomia Krushelnytska Theater of Opera and Ballet in Lviv in 2001 (timed to the first official visit of Pope John Paul II to Ukraine). Moses appeared on theater bills of the National Opera in 2006.
Among the participants of the festival there are such prominent Ukrainian artists, leading groups, and musicians, who earned worldwide recognition: conductor Raymond Janssen (Netherlands), violinists Oleg Kaskiv (Switzerland) and Yuri Kharenko (USA), pianist Dmytro Onyshchenko (Ukraine-Russia), and also the Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine’s National Philharmonic Society (conductor – Mykola Diadiura), National Academic Symphony Orchestra (conductor – Volodymyr Sirenko), National Academic Choir “Dumka” (artistic director Yevhen Savchuk), and others.
Music night with maestro will take place at the National Music Academy of Ukraine on September 24. It will be attended by famous musicologists from Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and Germany. In the evening a concert “Symphony Dimension of Myroslav Skoryk” will be held at Philharmonic Society. The program will feature Concerto No. 5 for Violin and Orchestra, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, The Ballad of the Dnipro for bass and orchestra, fragments from 24 Capriccios for symphony orchestra by Skoryk-Paganini. Soloists: Oleg Kaskiv (violin, Switzerland), Serhii Kovnir (bass, Ukraine), Oleksandr Piriiev (cello, Ukraine), conductor – Mykola Diadiura (Ukraine).
Music lovers won’t miss the night “Alma Mater” that will be held on September 26. Chamber Orchestra of the National Music Academy of Ukraine (conductor Ihor Andriievsky) will perform at the Conservatory, the solo on piano will be performed by the hero of the day, fellow pianists – Tetiana Andriievska and Maria Pukhlianko – will assist Skoryk.
On September 28 the National Philharmonic Society of Ukraine will invite the audience to listen to symphonic works by Myroslav Skoryk: Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra, cantata Hamalia, Concerto No. 3 for Violin and Orchestra, Carpathian Concerto for orchestra. Soloists: Yuri Kharenko (violin, USA), Dmytro Onishchenko (piano, Ukraine-Russia), conductor – Fedor Glushchenko (Russia).
On October 6 National Academy of Arts will host music night “Chamber World of Myroslav Skoryk,” soloists: Kyrylo Sharapov (violin), Oleh Bezborodko (piano), Hanna Nuzha (cello), Bohdan Pivnenko (violin), Nazarii Pylatiuk (violin), and musicians of the ensemble “Kyiv Soloists” under the direction of the conductor Raymond Janssen (Netherlands).
Maestro-teacher will present his “School” to the public. On October 10 the audience will get a chance to hear compositions by Karabyts, Kyva, Stankovych, Zubytsky, Stepurko, Havrylets, Kozarenko, Froliak, and Skoryk performed by Platon Maiboroda Orchestra and Choir of the National Radio Company of Ukraine conducted by Volodymyr Sheiko.
The festival will end on October 13 at the National Opera with the ballet Caprices of Fate to the music by Skoryk-Paganini (choreography by Viktor Lytvynov). This is the story of the creator. Maestro has had many names: once it was Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini… He embodies the gift of God, which was given to the master and which makes him stand out from the crowd. The main hero will meet two loves: Dream and Passion. Dream will remain simply a dream and Passion won’t belong to him alone… The crowd amazed with his melody will throw the maestro up to heaven. However, it is very painful to fall from such height… and no one would even notice that the musician lies under the feet of people in the crowd, who are still listening to his music that will remain forever in the hearts of these people…
Today Myroslav Skoryk is often called a classic of modern time. Great spirit and nobleness are inherent in him genetically (Skoryk is a descendant of the old Galician families, members of which belonged to the artistic, scientific, and spiritual intelligentsia). Famous art critics study and carefully analyze the works of the composer, but the deep analysis of the artist’s work is still ahead because every year Skoryk pleases his fans with new music compositions. The composer has his own style and you will never confuse his work with somebody else’s. Kyiv residents and visitors of the capital will get a rare chance to hear the best of the best compositions live and also to communicate with maestro during “The Days of Music of Myroslav Skoryk.”