Stanyslav Liudkevych / Galicians I

Stanyslav Liudkevych (1879-1979)

Stanyslav Liudkevych first studied composition with his mother who herself was a pupil of Mykhailo Verbytsky, the composer of Ukraine’s national anthem.  While at university, Liudkevych was a student of Mieczyslaw Soltys at the Lemberg Conservatory.  In Vienna, he studied with Alexander Zemlinsky, Hermann Gradener, and Guido Adler; he also attended Hugo Riemann’s lectures in Germany.  

In 1908, he succeeded Anatole Vakhnianyn as director of the Lysenko Institute.  During World War I, Liudkevych was drafted into the Austrian army.  Captured by the Russians, he spent time in Kazakhstan as a prisoner of war.  In 1919, he resumed work at the institute in Lviv.

In 1936, Liudkevych became head of the musicological commission of the Shevchenko Scientific Society. From 1940 to 1972, he taught at the Lviv State Conservatory.  Despite being a 20th-century composer, Liudkevych maintained a post-romantic palette that was later tempered by Soviet neo-folklorism.  In fact, under the Soviet regime his creative output dwindled.  At one of the first meetings with the Communist Party in 1939, the composer is reputed to have quipped, “liberated [by the Communists]—there’s nothing one can do about that…