Lviv Philharmonic: History and Nowadays

Lviv Philharmonic History

Historically, in every city - whether it is Kyiv, Warsaw, Krakow or Berlin - Philharmonic holds a special place. Lviv Philharmonic has a rich history that goes back to different periods - Austrian, Polish, Soviet and Ukrainian.

The first official concert season of the Lviv Philharmonic (1902-1903) started in the concert hall of Skarbkowski Theatre (now Maria Zankovetska Theatre), which served as an excellent auditorium for public performances - 1200 seats, a large concert stage, fountains, confectionery, buffet and winter garden. In 1962 Philharmonic was settled into a magnificent Secession building (7 Tchaikovsky Street), built in 1907 for the Musical society of Galicia. The organ with two manuals and pedal was the luxury for organ recitals. Now in the center of the stage we can observe only façade of the instrument with its wooden pipes being decorated in Baroque style.

In 1933Adam Soltys founded Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, then in 1939 Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestra received the status of State Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestra (conductor I. Pain and M. Kolessa) and 1944 was the beginning of the constant concert activities.

The most famous musicians of the world have been performing on the Philharmonic stage, including S. Krushelnytska, O. Myshuga, R. Strauss, G. Mahler, B. Bartok, A. Rubinstein, F. Busoni, M. Long, W. Landowska, P. Kazals, and in the second part of XXth century – S. Richter, R. Kerer, L. Kogan, D. Oistrakh, L. Isakadze, B. Rudenko, V. Gornostayeva, N. Gutman, Yu. Bashmet and others. Their own concerts have represented here such outstanding composers as D. Shostakovich, B. Lyatoshynsky, A. Khachaturian, A. Schnittke, A. Pärt, P. Vasks, K. Penderecki, V. Silvestrov, M. Skoryk and Ye. Stankovych.

On the Philharmonic stage started their careers such famous Ukrainian musicians as Oleh Krysa, Oleksandr Slobodyanyk, Yuriy Lysychenko, Mariya Tchaikovska as well as younger generation - Ethella Chupryk, Josef Ermin, Oksana Rapita, Oleksandr Kozarenko and others.

Lviv Philharmonic is one of the leading concert institutions of Ukraine, which in various forms has been popularizing good music at the international festivals, monograph concerts, concerts of young musicians and thematic evenings for secondary school students.

The annual International Music Festival "Virtuosi" was established by the Lviv Philharmonic in May 1981 (till 1990 it was called United Music Festival “Virtuosos of the Country”). Other festivals, including International Festival of Contemporary Music "Contrasts", International Festival of Conductors in Commemoration of Mykola Kolessa and the International Festival "Shymanovski Quartet and friends" also take place in the Lviv Philharmonic season

Traditionally the Philharmonic presents premieres of works by different Lviv composers, including Myroslav Skoryk, Yuriy Laniuk, Viktor Kaminsky, Oleksandr Kozarenko as well as widely popularizes creative achievements of classical composers - Mykola Lysenko, Stanislav Liudkevych, Vasyl Barvinsky, Mykola Kolessa and others.

Lvivites enjoyed the premiers of such outstanding works of world classics as German Requiem by J. Brahms, Requiem by G. Verdi, Symphony No. 3 "Kaddish" by L. Bernstein, Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, Messiah by G. F. Handel and Symphony No. 9 by L. Beethoven. The Philharmonic successfully presented large-scale thematic concert cycles that included all symphonies by J. Brahms, F. Schubert, W. Mozart, L. Beethoven as well as symphonic works by R. Strauss, G. Mahler and D. Shostakovich.

Since 2007-2008 Philharmonic also features art exhibitions, artistic meetings, music and literary performances.

Since 2006 the Director General of Lviv Philharmonic is Volodymyr Syvokhip, Honored Artist of Ukraine, winner of the State Prize named after M. Lysenko, a famous musical and social activist, musicologist, artistic director and conductor of the Gloria Chamber Choir.

The Lviv Philharmonics consists of Lviv Philharmonic Academic Symphony Orchestra, INSO-Lviv Academic Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lviv Virtuosos Academic Chamber Orchestra, different chamber ensembles, soloists, vocalists and instrumentalists.