Lubomyr Melnyk

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Lubomyr Melnyk at Aarhus Festival, Denmark 2018

Lubomyr Melnyk (born December 20, 1948) is a composer and pianist of Ukrainian origin.[1][2][3]

Melnyk is noted for his continuous music, a piano technique based on extremely rapid notes and complex note-series, usually with the sustain pedal held down to generate harmonic overtones and sympathetic resonances. These overtones blend or clash according to harmonic changes. Most of his music is for piano, but he has also composed chamber and orchestral works. His piano music requires a special technique, closely related to the Martial Arts, and is too complex and difficult for any concert pianists to play[citation needed]. Because of his lifelong devotion to the piano, he has been called The Prophet Of The Piano.


Melnyk lived in Paris from 1973 to 1975, supporting himself by playing for modern dance classes, most notably in conjunction with Carolyn Carlson at the Paris Opera. Many of his works were presented in conjunction with modern dance. Through his work with Carolyn Carlson, he began to create continuous music for piano.[4]

Melnyk has composed over 120 works, mostly for piano solo and double piano, and some for piano with ensemble. To explain the proper physical and mental techniques for his music, Melnyk wrote a treatise, OPEN TIME: The Art of Continuous Music (1981) and 22 Etudes, to teach the fundamental levels of his continuous technique.[4] In 1985, Lubomyr Melnyk set two world records, documented on film and with full audio, at the Sigtuna Stiftelsen in Sweden. He sustained speeds of over 19.5 notes per second in each hand, and played between 13 and 14 notes per second for one full hour.[5]


  • KMH: Piano Music in the Continuous Mode (1979)
  • The Lund - St. Petri Symphony (1983)
  • Concert-Requiem (1983)
  • Poslaniye (1983)
  • The Stone Knight (1983)
  • The Song of Galadriel (1985)
  • Remnants of Man / The Fountain (1985)
  • Wave-Lox (1985)
  • The Voice Of Trees (1985)
  • A Portrait Of Petlura On The Day He Was Killed {Lyrrest} (1989)
  • It Was Revealed Unto Us That Man Is The Centre Of The Universe (1993)
  • Swallows (1994)
  • Vocalizes and Antiphons (1991-1994)
  • Beyond Romance (2010)
  • The Self-Luminous Way (2011)
  • Windmills (2013)
  • Corollaries (2013) (Erased Tapes Records)
  • Three Solo Pieces (2013)
  • Evertina (2014) (Erased Tapes Records)
  • Rivers and Streams (2015) (Erased Tapes Records)
  • illirion (2016) (Sony Classical Records / Sounds of Subterrania )
  • The Dreamers Ever Leave You - The Lauren Harris Ballet Music (2018) (Audio Sushi)
  • Fallen Trees (2018) (Erased Tapes Records)


  1. ^ Lubomyr Melnyk - Windmills, Dense Promotions
  2. ^ Songs We Love: Lubomyr Melnyk, 'sunset' - NPR, August 1, 2016
  3. ^ Lubomyr Melnyk - The Voice of Trees - Hinterzimmer records, 2011
  4. ^ a b Melnyk, Lubomyr. "Canadian Music Centre – Composer Showcase".
  5. ^ Hawksley, AFP Rupert (2014-11-14). "The world's fastest-playing pianist". Retrieved 21 January 2015.


  • Encyclopedia of Music in Canada: "Melnyk, Lubomyr"
  • Schulman, Michael, 'Despite all his problems, Lubomyr Melnyk labours on,' Canadian Composer, 117, January 1977
  • Prokosh, Kevin, 'Piano attacked in samurai style,' Winnipeg Free Press, 10 January 1997
  • Eddins, Stephen, 'A major feat of virtuosity', AllMusic, 2007
  • Powell, Mike, 'Minimalism at its most lush, ornate, and taxing', Pitchfork, 23 August 2007
  • Fifteen Questions with Lubomyr Melnyk, [1]
  • Erased Tapes Records: [2]

External links[edit]