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Mykola Leontovych

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Mykola Leontovych

Biography

Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (13 December 1877, Ukraine – 23 January 1921,Tulchyn, Ukraine) was a Ukrainian composer, choral conductor, and teacher of international renown.

His music was inspired by Mykola Lysenko and the Ukrainian national music school. Leontovych specialized in a cappella choral music, ranging from original compositions, to church music, to elaborate arrangements of folk music.

Leontovych was born and raised in the Podolia Governorate of the Russian Empire (present-day Ukraine). He was educated as a priest in the Kamianets-Podilskyi Theological Seminary and later furthered his musical education at the Saint Petersburg Court Capella and private lessons with Boleslav Yavorsky. With the independence of the Ukrainian state in the 1917 revolution, Leontovych moved to Kiev where he worked at the Kiev Conservatory and the Mykola Lysenko Institute of Music and Drama.

His music was inspired by Mykola Lysenko and the Ukrainian national music school. Leontovych specialized in a cappella choral music, ranging from original compositions, to church music, to elaborate arrangements of folk music. He is recognized for composing Shchedryk in 1904 (which premiered in 1916), known to the English speaking world as Carol of the Bells or as Ring Christmas Bells. He is known as a martyr in the Eastern Orthodox Ukrainian Church, where he is also remembered for his liturgy, the first liturgy composed in the vernacular, specifically in the modern Ukrainian language. He was assassinated by a Soviet agent in 1921.

During his lifetime Leontovych's compositions and arrangements became popular with professional and amateur groups alike across Ukraine. Performances of his works in western Europe and North America earned him the nickname "the Ukrainian Bach" in France. Apart from his very popular Shchedryk, Leontovych's music is performed primarily in Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora.


Works for Winds

Adaptable Music


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References