IVAN KARABITS (1945 - 2002)
Ivan Fedorovych Karabits was born in Yalta, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on 17 January 1945. He studied at the Kiev Conservatory with Boris Lyatoshynsky (1895–1963), and after his death with Myroslav Skoryk (born 1938). Following Ukraine’s independence from Russia in 1991, Karabits came into his own as the leading musical dynamo of the country. He founded Ukraine’s major contemporary music festival, the Kiev Music Fest, and was its artistic director until his death; as Professor of Composition at the Kiev Tchaikovsky Music Academy he inspired a new generation of Ukrainian composers; he was the artistic director of the Kiev Camerata and also conducted them and other orchestras in his own music; he was also one of the founders of the International Foundation in memory of Vladimir Horowitz, and head of the jury of its International Competition for Young Pianists. The award of Peoples’ Artist of the Ukraine was a fitting accolade reflecting his achievements.
Karabits’s personal voice follows in the tradition of Mahler and Shostakovich, and is also rooted in the folkmusic tradition of Ukraine. His legacy includes three symphonies, three piano concertos, three concertos for orchestra, and works for string orchestra such as Vio-Serenade (2000). Among his extensive chamber music are two cello sonatas and Concertino for Nine (1983), and works for solo instruments include his 24 Preludes for piano (1976). There are also film scores (including cartoons), choral music, for instance, Garden of Heavenly Songs (1971), and an opera-oratorio, Kiev Frescoes (1983). He died in Kiev on 20 January 2002.
© Naxos Rights US, Inc. – Andrew Burn (KARABITS Concertos for Orchestra Nos 1, 2 and 3, Naxos 8.572633)