Vasyl Barvinsky

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Vasyl Barvinsky
Vasyl Barvinsky.jpg
Born20 February 1888
Died9 June 1963
EducationLemberg Conservatory
  • Pianist, Composer,
  • Director of the Lysenko Institute in Lviv,
  • Teacher
Years active1910s–1960s

Vasyl Oleksandrovych Barvinsky (Ukrainian: Василь Олександрович Барвінський) (20 February 1888 – 9 June 1963) was a Ukrainian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, musicologist, and music related social figure.[1]

Barvinsky was one of the first Ukrainian composers to gain worldwide recognition. His pieces were published not only in the Soviet Union, but also in Vienna, Leipzig, New York (Universal Edition), and Japan. Barvinsky directed a post-secondary musical institution in the city of Lviv (1915-1948) the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music, and was considered to be the head of musical life at the time. Currently there is a College of Music named after Barvinsky in Drohobych, Ukraine.[2]


Vasyl Barvinsky was born in Ternopil, on 20 February 1888. Barvinsky descended from an older aristocratic family. Barvinsky's father, Oleksander Barvinsky, was famous Russian pedagogue, politician, and public figure. In 1917 he was appointed a member of the Austrian upper chamber. Vasyl's mother, singer and pianist, Yevheniya Barvinska, became his first music teacher.[3] In 1939 he founded Lviv Secondary Specialized Music Boarding School named after Solomiya Krushelnytska.[4]

In 1948 Barvinsky was denounced and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by Soviet authorities. His works were suppressed. After his release and rehabilitation in 1958, he attempted to reconstruct works that had been destroyed by NKVD, but many of the lost works were not rediscovered until after his death in 1963.[5]

He was buried in Lviv in the family tomb in Lychakiv Cemetery, field number three.[6]


Barvinsky gained professional music education in Lviv conservatory. Barvinsky continued his music education in Prague. Among his teachers were Vilém Kurz (piano), and Vítězslav Novák (composition).[7] When he began to teach, one of his first students was Stefania Turkewich.


Barvinsky wrote about 30 works. Barvinsky's compositions are said to be impressive by their “… matureness’, thoughtfulness and delicacy”. Barvinsky composed in various genres except ballet and opera. His style, late romantic with impressionistic features, was also strongly influenced by Ukrainian folklore. Although many of Barvinsky's works were lost, most of his creative inheritance remained and is performed worldwide.[8]


"Ukrainian Rhapsody" (Ukrayinska Rapsodiya - Українська рапсодія)
Piano cycle "Love" (Liubov - Любов)
Piano Sonata in C sharp minor
Piano Trio in A minor
Piano Preludes
Piano Concerto in F minor
Five miniatures on Ukrainian folk themes
Cycle for piano "Koliadky i Shchedrivky" (Колядки і щедрівки)
Piano collection for children: "Our Sun is Playing Piano" (Nashe Sonechko Hraye na Fortepiano - Наше сонечко грає на фортепіано)
"Ukrainian Suite" (Ukrayinska syuyita - Українська сюїта)
"Lemkiv's Suite" (Lemkivshchyna) (Lemkivska syuyita - Лемківська сюїта)
"Lemkiv's Dances" (Lemkivski tantsi - Лемківські танці)
Choir miniature: "The Sun is Already Down" (Uzhe sonechko zakotylosia - Уже Сонечко Закотилося)

Children Choirs:
"On the Christmas Tree" (Na yalynku - На ялинку)
"Summer" - (Lito - Літо)
"The song of pupils" (Pisnia Shkoliariv - Пісня школярів)
Folk-song Arrangements:
"There on the Hill are Two Oaklets" (Tam na hori dva dubky - Там на горі два дубки)
"Two Lemkiv's folk songs" (Dvi lemkivski narodni pisni - Дві Лемківські народні пісні)

Six Solo Arrangements of Folk Songs, composed in 1912:
Yanhil-yahilochka (Ягіл-ягілочка)
Oi, khodyla divchyna berizhkom (Ой, ходила дівчина беріжком)
Chy ty virno mene liubysh (Чи ти вірно мене любиш)
Vyishly v pole kosari (Вийшли в поле косарі)
Oi, ziydy, ziydy, yasen misiatsiu (Ой, зійди, зійди, ясен місяцю)
Lullaby Oi Khodyt Son (Ой ходиь сон)

Chamber music:
Sonata for Cello and Piano
Nocturne for Cello (1910)
Variations on folk-song theme for Cello (1918) (Variatsiyi na temu narodnoyi pisni "Oi, pyla, pyla ta Lymerykha na medu" - Варіації на тему народної пісні "Ой, пила, пила та Лимериха на меду")
"Dumka" for Viola (1920) (Думка)
Sonata and Suite for Viola and Piano
Suite for Viola (1927)
Sextet for piano and five string instruments
String Quartet "Molodijniy" (published in 1941)
String Quartet in B flat major
For Violin: "Humoreska", "Sumna Pisnia", "Kozachok", "Metelytsia", "Pisnia bez sliv" also known as "Harodna Melodiya"

Music related literary works[edit]

"Bela Bartok in Lviv" (Bela Bartok U Lvovi - Бела Барток у Львові)
"An overview of Ukrainian Music History" (Ohliad istoriyi ukrayinskoyi muzyky - Огляд історії української музики) "Ukrainian Music" (Ukrayinska muzyka -Українська музика)
"The New Age of Ukrainian Music" (co-authored by Steshko and Liudkevych)(Nova doba ukrainskoyi muzyky -Нова доба української музики)
"My Memories about Mykola Lysenko" (1937) (Moyi spohady pro Mykolu Lysenka - Мої спогади про Миколу Лисенка) "Viktor Kosenko" (1939)
"Creative Work of V. Novak" (Tvorchist V. Novaka - Творчість В. Новака)
"Ukrainian Folk Song and Ukrainian Composers" (Prague 1914) (Ukrayinska narodna pisnia i ukrayinski kompozytory -Українська народна пісня і українські композитори)
"Characteristics of Ukrainian folk song and its Research" (Kharakterystyka ukrayinskoyi narodnoyi pisni ta yiyi doslidzhennia - Характеристика української народної пісні та її дослідження)


  1. ^ "Vasyl Barvinsky – Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine".
  2. ^ "Lysenko Higher Institute of Music – Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine".
  3. ^ "Ukrainian Art Song Project - Vasyl Barvinsky".
  4. ^ "Львівська середня спеціалізована музична школа-інтернат ім. С. Крушельницької". Retrieved 2021-03-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Encyclopedia of Ukraine - Vasyl Barvinsky".
  6. ^ "Vasyl Oleksandrovych Barvinsky (1888-1963) - Find..." Retrieved 2022-03-07.
  7. ^ "Ukrainian Art Song Project - Vasyl Barvinsky".
  8. ^ "Ukrainian Art Song Project - Vasyl Barvinsky".

External links[edit]


  • Dytyniak Maria Ukrainian Composers - A Bio-bibliographic Guide - Research report No. 14, 1896, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, Canada.

External links[edit]