Myroslav Skoryk (1938 - 2020)
Wir teilen mit Ihnen die traurige Nachricht über den Tod des herausragenden Komponisten, Dirigenten, Musikwissenschaftlers und Professors der UFU, Myroslav Skoryk am 1. Juni in Kyjiw. Die Universität spricht seiner Ehefrau Adriana, seiner Familie, Freunden und Kollegen ihr aufrichtiges Beileid aus. Sei Myroslav Skoryk unser helles Andenken für immer bewahrt.
Sein ehemaliger Student und Kollege an der UFU, Dr. Adrian Bryttan, erinnert sich an diese unvergessliche Persönlichkeit:
The last time I visited with Myroslav Skoryk in Ukraine was at the composer’s Lviv apartment several years ago. He wished to see the videos of the first performances in Ukraine of Giacomo Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi” - which I organized and conducted at the Dnipro Opera Theater. These were sung in new Ukrainian translations I had created.
I looked forward to seeing him again, as I always remained grateful to Myroslav for initially recommending me to conduct the Lviv Filarmonia in 1992. That first performance led to many further opportunities for me to conduct not only the Filarmonia, but the Lviv and Kharkiv Operas, and most recently, the Dnipro Opera.
While we were talking about these Puccini performances, Myroslav produced a bottle of pickled mountain mushrooms for us to sample. I reflected that the same world-renowned composer who had written a complex book on contemporary chordal harmonies was now proudly offering me mushrooms he picked in his beloved Carpathian forests!
Myroslav explained he himself had gathered them during his hikes. I always knew he had a special bond with the Hutsuls; many of his best compositions, like the “Carpathian Concerto for Large Orchestra,” were inspired by the exotic colors of their melodies. His first international acclaim had been the strikingly original music he composed for Sergej Paradzhanov’s film, “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors,” - music that evoked the primeval sounds of the “trembita,” “tsymbaly,” jaw-harp, the wild dances as well as the lyric melodies of the Hutsuls.
Previously, he told me that the great singer Solomiya Krushelnytska, who triumphed in the successful premiere of Puccini’s revised “Madama Butterfly,” was actually his great aunt. Indeed, one of Myroslav’s last compositions was a ballet titled “Return of Butterfly,” to honor the memory of Solomiya, including the greatest composers’ music she sang during her stellar career.
This conqueror of the world’s most famous operatic theaters had shared the stage with the foremost stars of her day, and yet she always included in her recitals Ukrainian songs dear to her heart. Solomiya devoted her final years in Lviv to passing on her knowledge and nurturing a new generation of Ukrainian singers.
Like his immortal relative, Myroslav lived a life of passion for music and for his homeland. And just like Solomiya, he also devoted a great portion of his time to teaching many students, in addition to popularizing Ukrainian music throughout the world.
I was always struck by his sense of humor, easy-going manner, and his honesty. I recall we once discussed Antonin Dvorak’s statement when appointed the first President of the newly formed American Conservatory of Music: He stated “American composers should base their music on native American folksongs, Indian music and the Negroes’ soulful songs.” Myroslav responded: “And how infinitely more rich is our treasure of Ukrainian songs and melodies!” Then he proceeded to draw parallels between Dvorak and Skoryk’s own revered teacher Stanislaw Liudkevych.
Myroslav Skoryk was one of those rare composers who remain as popular with performers and critics as they are with audiences and the general public. He was at home in the most complex contemporary styles and at the same time could also could effectively incorporate an entertaining jazz approach in his compositions. Perhaps this is why audiences always genuinely responded to his creations - from the lyrical “Melody” to the massive opera-oratorio “Moses,” set to Ivan Franko’s text. When I conducted the Seoul Philharmonic, I made sure to include an orchestral arrangement of this famous “Melody.” The Korean public loved it just as much as any Ukrainian audience.
Myroslav Skoryk left the world a wealth of songs, chamber music, ballets, film music, music for large orchestra and concertos that will delight generations of music lovers to come.
It was a great pleasure and a great honor to have known him.
- Dr. Adrian Bryttan, Ph.D.
[ Dr. Bryttan’s doctoral thesis advisor at UFU was Myroslav Skoryk]