22 December 1948 (age 73)
Munich, Bayern, Germany
Lubomyr Melnyk (born December 22, 1948 in Munich) is a Ukrainian composer and pianist who has pioneered ‘Continuous Piano Music’. Affected by the minimalist movement in the early 1970s, he has developed his own unique language for the piano, named after the principle of maintaining a continuous, unbroken stream of sound.
Melnyk has shown a remarkable devotion to the instrument, always striving to discover new ways of composing music in the continuous mode. His focus is on the actual sound of the piano as much as the harmonies and melodies of the music.
Using rapid and complex note patterns, Lubomyr's virtuoso piano technique forms overtones that blend, collide or even create new melodies in rare moments, and thereby shape the composition beyond its original form. Accomplishing this requires a special technique, one that has taken him many years to master.
Melnyk lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1950 to 1969. He earned a degree in Latin and Philosophy from St. Paul's College in Winnipeg, and did postgraduate work in Philosophy at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, from 1969 to 1970. Melnyk lived in Paris from 1973 to 1975, supporting himself by playing for modern dance classes. Many of the works of his Paris years were presented in conjunction with modern dance. It was there that he began to create 'continuous music' for piano. On his return to Canada, Melnyk performed and presented his new 'language' for the piano in lecture-recitals throughout Canada and Europe.
Since the early 1970s, Melnyk has composed over 90 works, mostly for piano solo or ensemble. In order to explain the mechanism of reading the score and performing it with the proper hand motions, Melnyk wrote the treatise OPEN TIME: The Art of Continuous Music (1981) and 22 Etudes, to teach the fundamental levels of the continuous technique
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