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Published on Jun 19, 2012
Mykolo Lysenko : Reverie for Piano "Mriy'ya" Piano: Tatiana Primak khoury Live from Balamand University Lysenko was born in Hrynky, Kremenchuk Povit, Poltava Governorate, the son of Vitaliy Romanovych Lysenko (Ukrainian: Віталій Романович Лисенко). From childhood he became very interested in the folksongs of Ukrainian peasants and by the poetry of Taras Shevchenko. When Shevchenko's body was brought to Ukraine after his death in 1861, Lysenko was a pallbearer. During his time at Kiev University, Lysenko collected and arranged Ukrainian folksongs, which were published in seven volumes. One of his principal sources was the kobzar Ostap Veresai (after whom Lysenko later named his son).Lysenko was initially a student of Biology at the Kharkiv University, studying music privately. On a scholarship which he won from the Russian Music Society he pursued further professional music studies at the Leipzig Conservatory. It is there that he understood the importance of collecting, developing and creating Ukrainian music rather than duplicating the work of Western classical composers. On his return to Kiev he continued to create Ukrainian themed compositions. His Ukrainophilic approach to composition was not supported by the Russian Imperial Music Society which promoted a Great Russian cultural presence in Ukraine. As a result Lysenko severed his relationship with them, never to compose any music set to the Russian language, nor allow any translations of his works into the Russian language. In order to improve his orchestration and composition skills the young Lysenko traveled to St. Petersburg where he took orchestration lessons from Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov in the mid 1870s, but his fervent Ukrainian national position and disdain for Great Russian autocracy retarded his career. He supported the 1905 revolution and was in jail briefly in 1907. In 1908, he was the head of the Ukrainian Club, an association of Ukrainian national public figures in Kiev. For his opera libretti Lysenko insisted on using only the Ukrainian language. Tchaikovsky was impressed by Lysenko's Taras Bulba and wanted to stage the work in Moscow, but Lysenko's insistence on it being performed in the Ukrainian language, not Russian, prevented the performance from taking place in Moscow. In his later years, Lysenko raised funds to open a Ukrainian School of Music. His death was widely mourned throughout Ukraine. Lysenko's daughter Mariana followed her father's footsteps as a pianist, and his son Ostap also taught music in Kiev