Support Ukraine with PCO
Pacific Chamber Orchestra stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
On March 26th and 27th, the Pacific Chamber Orchestra (PCO) opened its performance with “Melody” by Ukrainian composer, pianist and conductor Myroslav Skoryk (1938 – 2020) dubbed “Ukraine’s national treasure.” Ironically, he composed the piece for a 1982 Ukrainian Word War II drama film, “High Pass.” He won two Ukrainian awards: the People’s Artist Award and the People’s Hero Award. He was also one of the recipients of the Shevchenko National Prize in 1987 for his “Cello Concerto.” His music is contemporary in style, containing idioms from German, Welsh, English and Eastern European traditions. In his compositions, including music for children, jazz riffs, and sacred pieces, he portrays his longtime concerns with ideas of universal spirituality and beauty.
Skoryk was born in Lviv, Ukraine in 1938, then a part of Poland. His parents were both educated in Austria at the University of Vienna, and subsequently, they became educators. His father was a historian and an ethnographer, while his mother was a chemist. Although his parents did not have special musical training, his mother played piano and his father played the violin. Skoryk was exposed to music in the household from an early age. Skoryk’s great aunt was the famed Ukrainian 20th century soprano, Solomiya Krushelnytska. In 1947, the family was deported to Siberia, only returning in 1955.
He studied at the Lviv Conservatory from 1955 – 1960, where he trained in musical composition and music theory. He wrote “Vesna” (“Spring”) for his final exam, a cantata for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra. Other pieces included a piano sonata and “V Karpatakh” (“In the Carpathian Mountains”). He entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1960, and studied with composer Dimitri Kabelvsky through 1964. In this period, he composed music in many styles: chamber, vocal and symphonic. His piece “Burlesque” is performed in concert halls throughout the world, and it is even a required work in various piano competitions. His library of compositions reflects many musical idioms.
During his career as a teacher, he was active within the National Union of Composers of Ukraine. He was co-chair of the Union with Yevhen Stankovych from 2004 to 2010. In 1996, Skoryk moved with his family to Australia, becoming a citizen, but he eventually returned to the Ukraine. From 2011 to 2016, he was artistic director of the Kyiv Opera, an appointed position.
The Pacific Chamber Orchestra dedicates this encore performance to everyone affected by the terrible war in Ukraine. They remain in our thoughts and prayers.