BORIS MIKOLAYOVICH LYATOSHINSKY (1895 - 1968)
Boris Lyatoshynsky, a composer, conductor and teacher, was a leading member of the new generation of twentieth century Ukrainian composers and is today honoured as the father of contemporary Ukrainian music. Arriving in Kiev from his native city of Zhitomir in 1914, Lyatoshynsky enrolled in the law school of Kiev University, while continuing his musical studies at the new Kiev Conservatory in the composition class of Reinhold Gliére, with whom he was to continue a life-long relationship. Having completed his law studies in 1918, he graduated in 1919 from the Conservatory, where he was soon to take up a position as a teacher and later professor, continuing this connection until his death. From 1935 to 1938 and from 1941 to 1944 he taught concurrently at the Moscow Conservatory. As a composer he wrote a variety of works, including five symphonies, symphonic poems and other shorter orchestral works, choral and vocal music, two operas, chamber music and a number of works for solo piano. His earliest compositions were romantic and lyrical in style, influenced most of all by his esteem for the music of Schumann and Borodin. By the time of his Symphony No. 1, his graduation composition, he had begun to be influenced by the impressionist music of Scriabin, but with his Piano Sonata No. 1 of 1924, he finally turned away from tradition, moving towards the new musical language of Central and Western Europe, atonality. This period lasted until 1929, when there gradually appeared more and more evidence of simplification in harmonies, following the broad outlines of Ukrainian national music, with increased reference to the folk-songs and music of the Ukraine, relying on the earlier research in this field of Mykola Lysenko.