Music of Old Ukraine
Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
JULIAN KYTASTY, bandura • ROMAN TUROVSKY, lute
A program explored the solo song traditions of old Ukraine that brings to life a multitude of voices—light-hearted students and serious churchmen from the great baroque academies, Kozak gentry musing to the accompaniment of turban or lute, early singer- songwriters like Hryhoriy Skovoroda and also the blind singers (kobzari and lirnyky), who absorbed all these strands into their own oral tradition and kept the music treasures of old Ukraine until a new one could be born.
Julian Kytasty is a third generation bandurist, following in the footsteps of his father Petro and grandfather Ivan Kytasty. A native of Detroit, he has lived in New York City since 1980.
Julian Kytasty’s substantial discography includes solo bandura recordings ranging in style from old-time kobzar music (Black Sea Winds, Songs of Truth) to contemporary improvisation (Nights in Banduristan). Collaborative recordings include albums with Alexis Kochan, Michael Alpert, and Derek Bailey, and with his own ground-breaking Experimental Bandura Trio, as well as the recent electro-acoustic project Disturbance Fields with Kyiv composer Alla Zagaykevych. He works frequently with New York’s Yara Arts Group creating and performing music for theatre pieces, poetry performances, and festivals. His work on Yara’s 1917-2017 Tychyna, Zhadan, and the Dogs earned him a NY Innovative Theater award for best original score. He has also created music for film and for modern dance performances.
As a performer, teacher, composer, and ensemble leader Julian Kytasty has had an enduring impact on bandura in North America, Ukraine, and around the world. He continues to teach bandura to a new generation of students.
Roman Turovsky was born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1961. He studied art from an early age under his father, the painter Mikhail Turovsky and at the Shevchenko State Art School in Kiev. He also began to be interested in music in his teens. The family emigrated to New York City in 1979. Turovsky continued his art studies in New York at the Parsons School of Design, studying concurrently Historical Performance (Baroque Lute) and Composition. He is now active as an artist-painter, as well as a composer.
As a composer, Turovsky concentrated on the instrumental idiom of the Baroque lute and the torban, as well as viola da gamba and carillon. He composed over 1100 instrumental and vocal works influenced by his Ukrainian heritage and the baroque. Many of these were premiered by Luca Pianca at several international festivals (Salamanca, Lisbon, Schwetzingen, Vilnius, Vicenza, Urbino, Metz and Paris), Roland Ferrandi in Corte, Simon Paulus at Wolfenbüttel and Jindřich Macek in Přibyslav, Kraty, Prague and Hvar.
As a performer, Turovsky appeared as a lute soloist and continuo player in the Early Musicline-up of Julian Kytasty’s “New York Bandura Ensemble” and “Radio Banduristan”.Roman Turovsky was a recipient of the 2008 NYSCA grant.
Turovsky’s poetry translations (from Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and other languages) have appeared in the literary almanacs Cardinal Points, and The Germ inter alia.