Myroslav Skoryk

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Myroslav Skoryk

Myroslav Skoryk (Ukrainian: Мирослав Михайлович Скорик, born July 13, 1938) is a Ukrainian composer. His music is contemporary in style and contains stylistic traits from Ukrainian folk traditions.

Early life[edit]

Myroslav Skoryk was born in western Ukraine's main city of Lviv, which at that time was under Polish control. His parents were both educated in Austria at the University of Vienna and both subsequently became educators. His father was a historian and an ethnographer, while his mother was an accomplished chemist. Although his parents did not have special musical training, his mother played piano and his father played the violin. Their son, young Myroslav, was exposed to music in the household from an early age and took a particular liking to it. Although his parents influenced Myroslav's early interest in music, no less important was the fact that in his family was a very famous diva of the 20th century – Myroslav Skoryk's great aunt was the famous Ukrainian soprano Solomiya Krushelnytska.

In 1939 Lviv was forcefully occupied by the Soviet Union as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Under the new Soviet regime many Ukrainian intellectuals were persecuted, including the Skoryk family which lost a number of members. In 1940 Lviv was occupied by the Nazis. During the Nazi occupation Skoryk's family vented their opposition to the previous Soviet regime. With the return of Soviet forces towards the end of World War II, Skoryk's family were deported to Siberia, and this is where Myroslav grew up. Myroslav's older brother enlisted in the Galicia division ended up in Rimini at the end of the War and emigrated to Australia.

Graduate studies and early works[edit]

Between 1955 and 1960 Skoryk studied at the Lviv Conservatory, and there he received a solid foundation in composition and theory. Skoryk states "My teachers were well known composers and educators, including Stanislav Liudkevych, a graduate of the Vienna Conservatory, Roman Simovych a graduate from the Prague Conservatory in 1933, and Adam Soltys (1890-1968), a graduate of the Berlin Conservatory." Skoryk’s final exam piece was a Cantata 'Vesna' (Spring), on verses of Ivan Franko for soloists, mixed choir and symphonic orchestra. Skoryk also wrote some piano music during this time, including a cycle of piano pieces 'V Karpatakh' ('In the Carpathian Mountains) and the 'Piano Sonata in C thus evoking a predilection toward this genre that subsequently gave him recognition and, to some extent, determined his creative direction.

In 1960, Skoryk enrolled in the postgraduate research program at the Moscow Conservatory where he studied with the celebrated composer Dmitri Kabalevsky. During this time, Skoryk composed music in a vast array of styles: symphonic, chamber, and vocal. Some works from this period include the 'Suite in D Major for Strings', 'Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano', and 'Partita No. 1 for Strings' which soon became a popular piece. In addition, Skoryk also wrote several piano works such as the 'Variations', 'Blues', and the 'Burlesque which gained much popularity and has been widely performed throughout concert halls around the world. His 'Burlesque' came to be a required work in piano competitions, most notably the Vladimir Horowitz Piano Competition in Kiev, Ukraine, and as pedagogical practice.

Teaching career[edit]

Skoryk graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1964 and took a teaching job at the Lviv Conservatory where he remained until 1966. Shortly after, he accepted a position at the Kiev Conservatory where he said, "Along with teaching composition classes, I also lectured theory classes that focused on contemporary harmony techniques." The subject of Skoryk’s dissertation, which he completed in 1964, concentrated on Prokofiev’s music, its title reads "Osoblyvosti ladu muzyky S. Prokofieva" (The Model System of Prokofiev). Skoryk also wrote a book, "Struktura i vyrazhalna pryroda akordyky v muzitsi XX stolittia" (The Structural Aspects of Chords in 20th Century Music) (Kiev, 1983 Musical Ukraine Publishing House) as well as numerous articles.

In 1996 he lived for a time with his family in Australia and received Australian citizenship, but later he returned to live in Ukraine. Notable students include composers Hanna Havrylets', and Bohdana Frolyak.


Myroslav Skoryk is an accomplished composer, as well as pianist and conductor. Many works by Skoryk are performed by leading ensembles and soloists including Leontovych Quartet, Oleh Krysa, Volodymyr Vynnytsky, Oleg Chmyr, Mykola Suk, Victor Markiw and Alexander Slobodyanik.

The most significant document on Skoryk written in the English language is a book by University of New Haven faculty member Victor Markiw titled The Life and Solo Piano Works of the Ukrainian Composer Myroslav Skoryk, published in 2010 by the Edwin Mellen Press:

List of most notable works[edit]

  • Melody La-minor (Ukrainian: Мелодія Ля-мінор, 1982)
  • Sonata for Piano (1958)
  • String Quartet in F-Major (1959)
  • In The Carpathian’s –cycle for piano (1959)
  • Vesna (Spring) – Cantata for soloists, choir, and symphony orchestra on verses by Taras Shevchenko (1960)
  • Symphonic Poem “Waltz” – (1960)
  • Suite for String Orchestra – (1961)
  • Rondo for piano – (1962)
  • 4 songs for soprano and symphony orchestra on verses by Taras Shevchenko (1962)
  • Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano (1963)
  • Symphonic Poem “Powerful Death” (1963)
  • Cantata for Soloists, Choir and Symphonic Orchestra (1964)
  • Burlesque for piano (1964)
  • Piano Variations (1961)
  • Paraphrase on themes from Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly for piano
  • 6 jazz pieces for piano
  • Three Extravagant Dances for piano 4-Hands:
  • Blues for piano (1964)
  • Popular Pieces on Words by Ukrainian Lyricists (1964)
  • Hutsul Triptych for Symphony Orchestra (1965)
  • From the Children’s Album – 5 Pieces for piano (1965)
  • Partita No. 1 for String Orchestra (1966)
  • “Stonemason” Poem Ballade on verses by Ivan Franko (1967)
  • Recitative and Rondo for Violin, Cello and Piano (1968)
  • Violin Concerto No. 1 (1969)
  • Partita No. 2 for Chamber Orchestra (1970)
  • Carpathian Concerto for Large Orchestra (1972)
  • “Stone Host” Music for Theatre Spectacle -after Lesyia Ukrainka (1973)
  • 3 Fantasies for 16th Century Lute Tablature (transcribed for chamber orchestra) (1973)
  • Partita No. 3 for String Orchestra (String Quartet version) (1974)
  • Partita No. 4 for Symphony Orchestra (1974)
  • Partita No. 5 for piano (1975):
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 (Youth Concerto) (1977)
  • Three Wedding Songs for voice with Symphonic Orchestra (1978)
  • Toccata for piano (1978)
  • “Harlequin Songs” musical tale for children (1978)
  • Music for Animated Films (1978)
  • Music for Film “High Mountain Pass” (1978)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 (1982)
  • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1983)
  • Preludes and Fugues for piano (1986-1989)
  • Violin Concerto No. 2 (1989)
  • Paganini’s 24th Caprice (transcription for symphony orchestra) (1989-1998)
  • Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano (1990)
  • Ballet “Solomiya Krutchelnitska” (1992)
  • “Diptych” for String Quartet (version for chamber orchestra) (1993)
  • Fantasy on song themes of Beatles for string orchestra (1993)
  • Symphonic Poem on 60th Anniversary of Ukrainian Holodomor -1932-33 (1993)
  • Symphonic Poem “Memory of Motherland” dedicated for 100 years of Ukrainian Emigration in USA (1993)
  • “A-r-i-a” for cello and chamber orchestra (1994)
  • “The Seasons” 4 miniatures for mixed acapella choir (1994)
  • Partita No. 6 for String Orchestra (1996)
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 (1996-1997)
  • Album Leaf for String Orchestra (1997)
  • Partita No. 7 for String Quartet (1999)
  • Psalm No. 50 for Soprano and Choir (1999)
  • Spiritual Requiem (1999)
  • Violin Concerto No. 3 (2001)
  • Opera “Moses” on poems by Ivan Franko (2001)
  • Mass (2001)
  • Violin Concerto No. 4 (2002)
  • Violin Concerto No. 5 (2004)
  • Ballade “Dniper” River on motives of Terrible Revenge by T. Gogol for baritone (2004)
  • Cantata-Poem “Hamalia” on verses by Taras Shevchenko (2005)
  • Liturgy (St. John Chrysostom) – (2005)
  • Psalm No. 38 for woman’s acapella Choir (2005)
  • Psalm No. 12 for men’s acapella choir (2005)
  • Psalm No. 53 for mixed choir acapella (2005)
  • Transcriptions for Chamber Orchestra:
  • M. Berozovsky – on prayer “Our Father in Heaven” – (1991)
  • Sticheron (anonymous 18th Century Ukrainian composer) “Cry and Weep” (1991)
  • H. Villa-lobos, Aria from Bachian Brasileira No. 3 and Samba (1992)
  • George Gershwin: suite from opera “Porgy and Bess” in 4 parts (1992)
  • A. Macdowell “Wild Rose” (1992)
  • D. Brubeck “Hobbling Waltz for Kat” (1993)
  • D. Brubeck “Rondo in Turkish Style” (2002)
  • V. Barvinsky “Charols” (1993)
  • M. Bruch “Kol Nidrey” adagio on theme of old Jewish prayer (1993)
  • G. Gershwin “Three Preludes” (1994)
  • P. Desmond “11/4” (1994)
  • S. Joplin -Three Rags “Maple Leaf Rag”, “Palm Leaf Rag” “Fig Leaf Rag” (1992)
  • E. Rodriguez “La Cumparsita” “El Choco” (1992)
  • P. Peters “Old Bavarian Polka” (1992)
  • F. Chopin “3 Preludes, 2 Etudes op. 10 No. 6 op. 25 No. 7” (1992)
  • F. Schubert “Impromptu Op. 90” (1992)
  • C. Debussy “”Gates of Alhambra” (2000)
  • A. Piazzolla “7 Tangos” (2000)
  • E. Karabyts “Solitude-Day after Day” (2003)
  • W. Bolcom “Graceful Ghost” (2003)
  • A. Ckulte “Arietta” (2003)
  • Transcriptions for Soloist and Orchestra:
  • J.S. Bach “Blute nur” from St. Matthew’s Passion for soprano and strings (2003)
  • J.S Bach “Qui respexit” from Magnificat for soprano and strings (2003)
  • J. S Bach “Et exultavit” fro soprano and strings
  • J.S. C. Gounod “Ave maria” for soprano and strings
  • F. Schubert “Ave Maria” for soprano and strings
  • A. Hnatyshyn “Mother of God” for soprano and strings
  • A. Katalane “Aria Valli” from opera Vali for soprano and strings
  • V. Barvinsky “Do you really Love me,” “The Sun walks near the Window” for soprano and strings
  • M. DeFalla “Your Dark Eyes,” “Song of Wandering Fire”
  • M. DeFalla “7 Folk Songs” for soprano and strings
  • G. Gershwin “The Man I Love” for soprano and strings
  • A. Fyrctenay “Sparkling Rondo” for two flutes and strings
  • A. Berg – songs from cycle “Seven Morning Songs” (2001)
  • G. Mahler -5 songs from cycle “Fantastic Horn of Young Boy” for mezzo-soprano and strings (2001)
  • G. Wienawski variation on original theme for violin and orchestra (transcription for violin and strings)
  • K. Symanowski – Nicola Paganini Caprice no. 24 – for violin and strings (2002)
  • I. Karabyts – 3 songs for soprano and strings (2003)

External links[edit]