Kostiantyn Dankevych was born in Odessa, in the Russian Empire (in present-day Ukraine). He studied at the Odessa Conservatory with Zolotarev and Nikolai Vilinsky and graduated in 1929. His friendship and collaboration with Vilinsky lasted many years. He was made the director of Songs and Dance of the Red Army Choir in Tbilisi. Konstantin wrote his first symphony in 1937. Two years later he wrote his most popular score, the ballet Lileya.
Dankevych taught composition at the Odessa Conservatory starting from 1944. In 1953, he was promoted to the staff of the Kiev Conservatory. Dankevich used many Ukrainian and Russian Folk motifs. One of his notable works was his opera Bogdan Khmelnitsky (premiered January 29, 1951), which was criticized for political reasons for its "unsuitable" music and libretto. After he revised it, it accepted better criticism in Russia.
When teaching he often wore two pairs of socks due to his superstitions.
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