Oles Semenovych Chyshko

20 June (2 July) 1895 – 4 December 1976

Oles Chyshko singsOj vazhu, ja vazhu (folk song, arranged by Chishko himself)

Oles Chyshko singsOj dzhyhune, dzhyhune (folk song, arranged by Chishko himself)
Born on 20 June (2 July) 1895 in the village of Dvorichnyj Kut in the Kharkiv province of the Russian Empire. Singer (tenor), composer, teacher.

Was born into the family of a railway worker. Finished eight years of studies at the Kharkiv Third College (1906–14), and after that studied three years in the Law School of the Kharkiv University (1914–17).

Acclaimed Artist of the Uzbek Soviet Socialistic Republic (1944) and Russian Federative Soviet Socialistic Republic (1957). Docent (1955), member of the Soviet Composers Union (1932), member of the board of directors of the Soviet Composers Union (1936–39). Recipient of the decoration "Sign of Merit" (1939) and the medal "For the brave and selfless toil in World War II" (1947).

Took singing lessons with Federico Bugomelli. Appeared as a chorister and as a soloist at the Bohemia Theater in Kharkiv (1917/18). Taught musical theory and harmony at different musical institutions in Kharkiv (1917–20).

Entered the vocal faculty of the Kharkiv municipal conservatory (1917), but lost his voice and instead went to the theoretical faculty. Started to compose songs and musical pieces for choirs. Took composition lessons with Akimov and Sokolov. Graduated from the conservatory in the class of composition studying with such figures as Rjazanov, Zhitomirskij, Shteinberg, Tjulin, Kushnarjov.

Regained his voice while studying in the vocal studio of Larisa Kicha. In 1924 composed and performed with the studio his first opera Judif, which was extolled by composers Aleksandr Glazunov and Mikhail Chernov. As an external student, he graduated from the vocal faculty of the Kharkiv Musical-Dramatic Institute (1924). Worked as an art director, soloist, and choir master in the Red Army Theater under the Revolutionary Committee in Novorossijsk (1923/24).

As a soloist of the Kharkiv Opera Theater he was the first to perform the role of the Kobzar in the posthumous world premiere of the opera Taras Bulba by Mykola Lysenko (1924). Was invited to sing at the opera theaters of Kiev and Odessa. Gave concerts in Saratov and southern Russia, appeared at the Moscow Zimin Theater (1924–31).

Organized and headed a composers studio with the All-Ukraine Union of Revolutionary Musicians (1927–31). Wrote an opera based on a play by Dniprovskyj, Jablunevyj polon, which was very successfully staged in Odessa and at other theaters (1931). His most successful opera was Bronenosets "Potjomkin" (Battleship "Potjomkin"), premiered at the Kirov in Leningrad in 1937. At its time, it was considered the best "revolutionary" Soviet opera.

Went to live in Moscow, where his wife was a conservatory professor.

Was a soloist at the Malij Theater in Leningrad (1931–39, 1945–48). Amongst his most outstanding roles were Godun in the opera Razlom by Volodymyr Femelidi, Maksim Berkut in the opera Zakhar Berkut (later known as Zolotyj obruch) by Boris Ljatoshynskyj, and Pierre Bezukhov in the Prokofyev's Vojna i mir (War and peace).

Appeared as a concert singer in the Leningrad Philharmonic and as a soloist of the Leningrad State Stage Organization and the Committee of Radio Broadcasting (1931–34).

Wrote the music to a film by Dmitrij Dalskij, "Vozmozhno, zavtra" ("Maybe tomorrow", 1932).

Died on December 4th, 1976 in Leningrad.

I wish to thank Igor Milner for preparing this entire page.

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