Music library on Internet dedicated to anniversary of Hryhory Kytasty
POWAY, Calif. - The year 2002 marked the 95th anniversary of the birth of the most renowned composer, conductor and bandurist of the Ukrainian diaspora of the 20th century, Hryhory Kytasty. His genius not only added musical gems of secular and sacred music to the treasury of Ukrainian music, but was the driving force behind the famous Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus (www.bandura.org) at the time of World War II and the displaced persons camps, and through the long, trying years of the Russification of Ukraine.
As conductor of this group, Maestro Kytasty presented to the world - in the largest concert halls of America, Canada, Europe, and Australia, the beauty of Ukrainian song and the talents of its people. As a bandurist and teacher, he inspired and touched virtually every performing bandurist of the diaspora, and left a legacy as a kobzar and mentor unmatched to this day.
To continue the work and honor the memory of this great man, his family established The Kytasty Foundation (www.kytastyfoundation.org), a California non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide an educational resource of Ukrainian culture by creating and maintaining a free library on the Internet of literature, music and history.
A special section features the entire collection of works by Maestro Kytasty that includes all of his original sheet music, books about him, and complete audio recordings of him conducting the UBC, as well as his solo performances. Andrij Kytasty, Hryhory's son, is the foundation's founder and current chief executive officer.
Additional goals of the Foundation are to further the accomplishments begun by the late Prof. Victor Kytasty (1943-2000), who also held an honorary doctorate from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. Since 2001 EERC (www.eerc.kiev.ua) has honored the graduating student with the highest marks on his or her thesis with the "Kytasty Award." The reward is named after Prof. Victor Kytasty, a former senior advisor to the EERC program, and acknowledges the personal and professional excellence that he exemplified. The foundation has established an annual fellowship that is given in conjunction with this award.
In 2003 the Kytasty Foundation will release a new CD recording of Hryhory Kytasty's Holy Liturgy, which was composed in 1956. This will be the first time it is performed in its entirety. Other near-term projects include the recording and release of a CD of his epic compositions for soloists, choir and symphony orchestra: "Duma About Kempten" (the forced repatriation of refugees after World War II), and "Battle at Konotop" (the victory of the Kozaks over invading Russians in 1658).
To help revive the traditional bandura arts, which were suppressed in Ukraine during Soviet rule, the foundation is assisting masters, students and organizations with equipment donations, honorariums and exposure in its electronic library.
More information about upcoming activities will be announced in the press, and can be found on the website www.kytastyfoundation.org.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, April 6, 2003, No. 14, Vol. LXXI
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