Leontovych, Mykola Dmytrovych
- Virko Baley
(b Selevynzi (now Monastyrok), Podillya (now Vynnyt′sa) province, 1/Dec 13, 1877; d Markivka, near Tyl′chyn, Jan 25, 1921). Ukrainian composer, ethnomusicologist and conductor . After graduating from the theological seminary in Kamyanets-Podils′kyi in 1899, he worked as a teacher at various primary and middle schools and also as an organizer and director of amateur choirs and orchestras. He then attended, as an external student, classes at the St Petersburg court chapel choir (1903–04) and later, on the recommendation of Sergey Taneyev, had sporadic lessons with Boleslav Yavorsky in Kiev (1909–14). In spite of the early popularity of his compositions, Leontovych received general recognition when he was brought to Kiev in 1918 to teach at the conservatory and at the Lysenko Institute of Music and Drama; there, he was also one of the organizers of the First Ukrainian State Cappella. In 1919 he returned to Tyl′chyn. He died under tragic and mysterious circumstances. According to official accounts, he was shot by a criminal burgling his parents’ home. Unofficially, rumors persist that he was killed on orders of Cheka, the secret police. In ...