Boris Gmyrya

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A Ukrainian commemorative coin depicting Boris Gmyrya

Boris Romanovich Gmyrya (Ukrainian: Борис Романович Гмиря; Russian: Борис Романович Гмыря; born 1903 in Lebedyn—died 1969 in Kiev) was a Ukrainian basso cantante singer of opera and art song.

During World War II, he stayed in Nazi-occupied Poltava where he performed for the Germans. This kind of behavior was considered to be collaboration with enemy by the Soviet authorities, and Gmyrya would have been imprisoned and exiled were it not for Josif Stalin's intervention. Gmyrya's partner, Valentina Ishchenko, was not so lucky and was exiled to Vorkuta.

A friend of Dmitry Shostakovich, Gmyrya was asked by the composer to participate in the premiere of his Thirteenth Symphony as lead soloist. Gmyrya refused for fear of political repercussions.[1]

Look and listen[edit]


  1. ^ Wilson, Elizabeth, Shostakovich: A Life Remembered, Second Edition (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1994, 2006). ISBN 978-0-691-12886-3. Page 403

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