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Viktor Stepanovych Kosenko

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Biography

Viktor Stepanovych Kosenko (Ukrainian: Віктор Степанович Косенко; 23 November [O.S. 11 November] 1896 – 3 October 1938) was a Ukrainian composer, concert pianist, and educator born in Saint Petersburg. Regarded by his contemporaries as a master of lyricism, his first compositions were markedly influenced by the works of composers such as Alexander Scriabin, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and his compatriot Mykola Lysenko.

Kosenko’s life is conclusively divided into three distinct phases, in Warsaw, where he studied with renowned teachers Mikhail Sokolovsky and Iryna Miklashovskaya, in Zhytomyr, where he began teaching piano and music theory at the Music Technicum, later becoming director of the Zhytomyr Music School, and finally in Kiev, where he devoted more time to symphonic compositions such as his Heroic Overture, which brought him due recognition in the world of Soviet music. A true artist in the very sense of the word, he was a leading figure among the broad-minded artistic collective of the 20th-century Ukrainian music.

Kosenko’s legacy is filled with romantic feeling and intonations of Slavic folk songs and Western-European influences. His vocal, chamber and symphonic works are among the most important pieces of that time in Ukraine. He composed over 100 compositions for piano among waltzes, preludes, nocturnes, sonatas and mazurkas, in a total of about 250 musical works such as his symphonic Moldavian poem, violin and piano concertos, trios and string quartets during his short musical career.

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