This house in a beautiful location close to the Luha River was built in 1907 by the project of the composer. He called the small Volhynian town on border “a paradise for creative work.”
The house, which once was a home to the Stravinskys family, has undergone many alternations, especially on the inside. Before the World War II a Polish judge lived there, later it was used as premises for German commandant, a dormitory for the workers of the Mobile Mechanical Division, Community Center, and, finally, children’s music school. For all these needs, the interior of the building had been changed many times. The surrounding territory had also been changed. Renowned Volhynian art critic, author of the first, second, and current exhibitions of Igor Stravinsky Memorial Museum, Ph.D. in History Olena Ohnieva still remembers the gorgeous flower bed near the house and the beautiful staircase to Luha River. In fact, the house looked badly, but after the restoration carried out on the initiative of the Head of the Volyn Regional State Administration Borys Klimchuk, it got the authentic look. The reconstruction cost almost four million hryvnias.
IGOR STRAVINSKY (1915) BY JACQUES EMILE BLANCHE / Photo from the website WIKIPEDIA.ORG
The first museum exhibition opened here in 1990 in four small rooms. Ohnieva told that she admired the creative work and personality of Stravinsky, who wrote 17 of his famous compositions in Ustyluh, based on Volyn folklore, when she was still a school student. It was the late 1950s, in Lutsk there was a ballet studio led by professional dancers Iryna and Pavlo Markins. They, according to Ohnieva, not only taught the basics of ballet dancing, but also told their students about the history of art, history of ballet, were not afraid to speak about the work of Stravinsky, who was still considered back then in the times of the Soviet union “a foreign composer.” In the early 1960s, when Ohnieva studied at Leningrad University, Stravinsky set his foot on his native land for the first time after years of separation. But at that time he was not allowed in Ustyluh, just like his son years later. Perhaps, it was for the better, thinks Ohnieva, that neither composer nor his son, for whom the house in Ustyluh was built initially, saw the poor state of the family nest… However, now the museum-estate of Stravinsky in Ustyluh should become an attractive tourist destination, since admirers of the great master have often come here even before.
Klimchuk noted that the funds for the restoration of the museum-estate in Ustyluh were allocated from the state budged by personal order of the president of Ukraine and third of the necessary funds came from the regional budget. Klimchuk believes that such museum, is another opportunity to make Ukraine known to the world.
An international festival of classical music “Stravinsky and Ukraine” has been held in Volyn since 1994. This is the only festival in Volyn that promotes classical music. In May of 2013 the tenth festival was held. You can learn more about the exposition of the Stravinsky Museum in Ustyluh on The Day’s website.