orchestra photo

A leading Ukrainian orchestra with great tradition


Philharmonic tradition through centuries

Lviv is a medieval city, a cultural capital of eastern Europe, where music has always occupied the center and spirit of its existence.

The path to the establishment of a secular concert life in the multinational Lviv went through various stages and took different forms, starting from the guild of urban trumpeters and the guild of musicians, which united Italian, Serbian and Jewish chapels in the 15th and 16 th centuries. These artistic associations served as the basis for the creation of permanent professional musical ensembles and institutions that exist to the present day.

In 1796, violinist and conductor Józef Elsner (1769 – 1854) initiated the creation of the first Music Academy in Lviv, an institution whose activities shared numerous characteristics with central- European philharmonic societies. It brought together professional musicians and educated amateurs, quickly becoming the principal concert venue of the city.

The name of the legendary violinist Karol Lipiński (1780 – 1861), who was rightly considered a worthy rival of Niccolo Paganini, is closely connected with the organization and development of concert activities in the city. In 1799 he became the Concertmaster of the Lviv Theater and from 1811 its Music Director and Conductor. It was Lipinsky who initiated the creation of the Theatre’s symphony orchestra.

The activities of the city’s cultural life were largely connected to the musical initiatives of the youngest son of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Franz Xavier Mozart (1791 – 1844), who lived and worked in this city for nearly 30 years, commencing in 1808. He entered Lviv’s musical existence primarily as a pedagogue, soon becoming the main catalyst of the city’s musical life. In 1826, he initiated the founding of the "Society of St. Cecilia ", in which there was a choir and an academy of vocal activities. One of the most significant events organized by this Society was the commemoration of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which took place on December 5 of the same year, on the 35th anniversary of his death.

The activities of the Society gave rise to the formation of new professional institutions of organized musical and cultural life. Orchestral concerts with the participation of professional musicians and amateurs had been regularly presented by the Society of Friends of Music, which had been operating since 1834. Within several years, the Society received official status with the new title "Society for Musical Development in Halychyna", later the "Halychyna Music Society”. Its artistic director and conductor of orchestral concerts was Johann (Jan) Ruckgaber and from 1842, the orchestra was led by talented amateur musicians including Dr. Franciszek Piontkowski, later Josef Prominski, Karol Guglinger and professional conductors Joseph Ernesti, Jozef Bashni, Adolf Pfeiffer and Heinrich Ruff. In 1858, one of Frederic Chopin's most accomplished students, Karol Mikuli (1821 – 1897), became artistic director and conductor of the Halychyna Music Society Orchestra, directing it for nearly 30 years. By the end of the 19 th century the city had a number of permanent orchestral ensembles - the Orchestra of the Lviv German-Language Theater, the Theater "Ruska Besida", the orchestras of numerous musical societies which, in accordance with the traditions of the times, had their own permanent symphony orchestras. The most famous European virtuosos of the period performed regularly with these groups in Lviv, which was evidence of the high level of musical life of the city. Among these were such famous touring artists as Franz Liszt, Henri Vieuxtemps , Joseph Joachim, Henryk Wieniawski, Karl Tauzig, Arthur Rubinstein, Hans von Bülow and many others.

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The Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra (National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine - Lviv) was officially established on September 27, 1902 as, on this day, the first concert of the newly formed orchestra took place in the Philharmonic Theater of Count Stanislav Skarbko (presently known as the Ukrainian National Academic Theater of Drama named after Maria Zankovetska). It served as an ideal venue for public performances, having 1240 seats, a large moving stage (160 m2), a concert organ, was equipped with electric lighting, central heating, while added luxuries included fountains, confectionery, cafeteria, restaurant and a greenhouse garden. The Principal Conductor of the orchestra was Ludwik Vitezslav Czelianski (1870 – 1931), who gathered a highly professional ensemble of 68 musicians, the majority of whom were graduates of Prague Conservatory. Henryk Jarecki and Henryk Meltzer-Szczawinski worked alongside him as conductors of the orchestra.

During the first season, the orchestra performed nearly 115 concerts, the total number of audience members exceeding 115,000 listeners. The concert programs featured the symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, symphonic works by Felix Mendelssohn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Antonin Dvorak, Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, Camille Saint-Saëns, Peter Tschaikovsky and others.

Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Ruggiero Leoncavallo and Mieczyslaw Karlowicz performed as invited conductors with the Lviv orchestra during this first season. Strauss conducted the orchestra on January 5, 1903 and under his baton were performed two of his own compositions, the symphonic poems Don Juan and Death and Transfiguration, the Love Scene from the opera Feuersnot, and the Symphony No. 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven. On April 2, 1903, the orchestra was conducted by Mahler, the program consisting of the Seventh Symphony and Leonore Overture No. 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven, the Roman Carnival by Hector Berlioz, the Overture to Tannhauser by Richard Wagner and Mahler’s First Symphony; the program was repeated at a second concert April 4. On May 7 and 9, 1903 the orchestra was conducted by Leoncavallo, the concerts including fragments from the operas Pagliacci and I Medici, the Neapolitan Suite, Ancient Suite and the symphonic poem Seraphitus-Seraphita. After this brilliant season, the orchestra went on tour to Krakow, Lodz, Warsaw and Vilnius, after which it ceased to exist. For many years, the Lviv Philharmonic Society did not have its own orchestra. Its director Leopold Litynsky made an attempt to create such a group from among the best musicians of the military orchestras of several local infantry regiments, which continued the activities of the Philharmonic in 1903-1904.

In the following years, touring orchestras performed in Lviv, including Wiener Symphoniker, Wiener Konzert-Verein, Wiener Tonkünstler-Orchester, Münchener Tonkünstler-Orchester, as well as the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and others. Resounding premieres also took place in the city. One of these was the Polish premiere of Ignatius Jan Paderewski's Polonia Symphony (first performed on February 12, 1909 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Max Fiedler), which was performed in 1910 under the baton of Henryk Opieński during the Congress of Polish Musicians, dedicated to the 100 th anniversary of the birth of Frederic Chopin.

During 1919-1939, the Conservatory symphony orchestra of Halychyna Music Society remained the only permanent orchestra in Lviv. On rare occasions, a symphony orchestra of the Polish Union of Musicians, organized in 1921 and consisting of 106 instrumentalists, performed under the auspices of the Lviv Philharmonic Society and M. Türk’s Concert Bureau (it united performersfrom the Society and the City Theater and operated until 1924). His programs were prepared by Bronislaw Wolfstal, Adam Soltys, Alfred Stadler and Milan Zuna.

During this period, in particular in the concert season of 1931/1932, due to the economic crisis, the musical departments of the City Theaters were disbanded. The musicians joined the orchestra of the Society of Music and Opera Fans, starting their own concert activities with a series of symphony concerts. The ensemble performed under the direction of Grzegorz Fitelberg, Mateusz Glinski, Anton Rudnytsky, Jakub Mund, Jerzy Kolachkowski, Stefan Sledzinski, as well as guest conductors - Kazimierz Wilkomirski, Tadeusz Mazurkiewicz, Hermann Sherhen, Ignatz Neumann, Tashi Gorenstein. According to the announcements, the "Inaugural" symphony concert of the newly formed orchestra of Lviv Philharmonic took place on November 20, 1933. Adam Soltys led the orchestra, in particular in the first season he combined the functions of director and artistic director.

He actively worked with the orchestra until 1938.

During this period, the symphony orchestra was performed by prominent composers - Maurice Ravel, Bela Bartok, Karol Szymanowski, soloists - Anton Rubinstein, Ferruccio Busoni, Wanda Landowska, Leopold Godowski, Jacob Milstein, Eugene Isai, Pablo Corvadam - Szymanowska and many others.

With the advent of the Soviet regime, in December 1939, the Resolution of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR of December 19, 1939 on the organization of cultural and artistic institutions in six newly formed western regions of Ukraine and the reorganization of art institutions and educational institutions by the Soviet People's Commissar and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus, according to which it was envisaged to create in Lviv "a state regional philharmonic with a symphony orchestra, a Ukrainian choir, a variety sector and soloists."

The symphony orchestra was formed at the Regional Radio Committee. The orchestra first performed on December 20, 1939 under the baton of Isaac Pain, a 27-year-old conductor, a graduate of Kyiv Conservatory. At the beginning of 1940, this orchestra was reorganized into the symphony orchestra of the Lviv State Regional Philharmonic. It was headed by Isaac Pain. Lviv conductor and composer Mykola Kolessa was also invited to work in the orchestra.

During the German occupation, in 1941-1944, the Philharmonic did not operate. In the postwar period, the orchestra had to be re-assembled, which was the joint effort of Isaac Paini, Dionysius Khabal, Nestor Hornytsky and Mykola Kolessa. The team resumed work in August 1944. The first concerts featured works by Stanislav Liudkevych, Vasyl Barvinsky, Mykola Lysenko, Stanislav Monyushko, Camille Saint-Saens, Peter Tchaikovsky, Karl Maria von Weber, and others.

During 1953-1957 and later - in 1987-1989 the conductor of the orchestra was Yuriy Lutsiv. From 1964 to 1987, the symphony orchestra was led by Demyan Pelekhatyi, who worked fruitfully with colleagues Roman Filipchuk and Ihor Simovich. From 1989 the main conductor of the orchestra was Ivan Yuziuk, the conductors were Roman Fylypchuk and Yarema Kolessa. Later this position was held by Aidar Torybayev, Ilya Stupel, Taras Krysa.

In 2006, the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine was awarded the title of Academic. In 2018, with the participation of this orchestra, during the author's concert of Myroslav Skoryk, the Lviv Philharmonic received the status of "national". Since September 2020, the Philharmonic is named after this outstanding Ukrainian composer.

Famous musicians of the 20 th century have been performing with the orchestra since the 1950s: Sviatoslav Richter, Heinrich and Stanislav Neuhaus, Emil Gilels, Maria Yudina, Moisey Greenberg, Dmytro Bashkirov, David and Ihor Oistrakh, Mstyslav Rostropovich, Yuriy Lysychenko, Mariya Chaikovska, Viktoria Lukyanets, Gidon Kremer, Leonid Kohan, Natalia Gutman, Oleh Polyansky, Dmytro Tkachenko, Roman Hrynkiv, Myroslava Kotorovych, Oleksandr Slobodyanyk, Bohodar Kotorovych, Oleh Krysa, Olga Batystyuk, Lidia Shutko, Jozhef Ermin, Oksana Rapita, Etela Chupryk.

Author's concerts of Dmytro Kabalevsky, Krzysztof Penderecki, Andrzej Nikodemovich, Dmytro Shostakovich, Alfred Schnittke, Aram Khachaturian, as well as Ukrainian artists - Stanislav Liudkevych, Mykola Kolessa, Anatoliy Kos-Anatolsky, Myroslav Skoryk, Valentyn Sylvestrov, Yevhen Stankovych, Ihr Scherbakov, etc.

Important pages in the history of the orchestra are the collaboration with famous conductors, including Kirill Kondrashin, Fuat Mansurov, Nathan Rakhlin, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Reinhold Gliere, Yevgeni Mravinsky, Nikolae Popescu, Kurt Masur, Saulius Sondeckis, Theodore Kuchar and Mariss Jansons as well as Ukrainian conductors Stefan Turchak, Fedor Glushchenko, Igor Blazhkov, Roman Kofman, Volodymyr Kozhukhar, Volodymyr Sirenko Viktor Ploskina, Yuriy Yanko and Victoria Zhadko.

The Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine is a regular participant in international festivals, in particular, the International Festival of Musical Art "Virtuosos", the International Festival of Contemporary Music "Contrasts", the Ukrainian-Polish Festival "Discovering Paderewski" and others. The Academic Symphony Orchestra of Lviv National Philharmonic is one of the largest in Ukraine and is well known far beyond its borders.

The orchestra has toured in many countries around the world, including Poland, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and China. During the past several seasons they have completed highly-acclaimed recordings for major international labels including Naxos and Brilliant Classics.

October, 2020

Live on stage

Richard Strauss. Metamorphosen

Gustav Holst. The Planets Suite (Jupiter)


I Violins

  • Marko Komonko - concert master, soloist
  • Mykola Havyuk - concert master
  • Ivanna Husar
  • Yuriy Bishko
  • Oksana Yaremiy
  • Olya Boyanovska
  • Nataliya Samostrokova
  • Halyna Herasymiv
  • Liliya Hratyla
  • Liudmyla Saulyak
  • Nadiya Turianyn
  • Oksana Schmidt
  • Solomiya Onyskiv
  • Oleksandra Moroz
  • Mariya Shtohrina

II Violins

  • Adrian Bodnar - concert master
  • Petro Titiayev
  • Andriy Fedorko
  • Sofia Kulyniak
  • Tetyana Ivashchuk
  • Olena Romaniv
  • Myroslava Borys
  • Oleksandra Yefimova
  • Mariana Prannyk
  • Daria Mironova
  • Bohdana Diachenko
  • Natalia Vashchyshyn


  • Ustym Zhuk - concert master
  • Veronika Pedorych
  • Vadym Pedorych
  • Tobias Roth
  • Oksana Stadnyk
  • Liubov Voitovych
  • Ivanna Yaropud
  • Vsevolod Sukorkin
  • Khrystyna Lozan
  • Nataliya Haidamakha


  • Denys Lytvynenko - concert master
  • Olha Boichuk
  • Mykola Mykolyk
  • Oksana Dadak
  • Olha Huk
  • Hryhoriy Savka
  • Dana Sharan
  • Vasyl Ivanyshyn
  • Kseniya Shyriaieva


  • Taras Yatsyshyn - concert master
  • Volodymyr Romanyshyn
  • Oleh Naumchuk
  • Andriy Vovchak
  • Yarema Kitsyla


  • Mykhailo Sosnovsky - concert master
  • Yevhen Biletskyi
  • Volodymyr Lushchenko
  • Ivan Lypetskyi


  • Ulyana Makieyeva - concert master
  • Iryna Tikhonova
  • Yuriy Khvostov
  • Mykhailo Zakopets


  • Hryhoriy Chepeliuk - concert master
  • Viacheslav Mariash
  • Daryna Kuzmenko
  • Roman Herasymovych
  • Yaroslav Zhovnirovych
  • Rostyslav Kucher


  • Andriy Tkachuk - concert master
  • Andriy Buday
  • Yuriy Voznyk
  • Ivan Meleta


  • Linnie Hostetler - concert master
  • Nazar Baziv
  • Zoltan Bodnar
  • Roman Savin
  • Ivan Romaniv
  • Ruslan Litvinchuk
  • Andriy Mamorskyi


  • Mykhailo Popovych - concert master
  • Oleh Petryshyn
  • Yury Ostiuk
  • Oleksandr Racyn


  • Oleksandr Martynov - concert master
  • Vasyl Prus
  • Petro Ostapchuk
  • Serhiy Martynov


  • Oleksandr Plaksiy


  • Volodymyr Veretelnyk - concert master
  • Ivan Dikalo
  • Ihor Koltun
  • Volodymyr Hrebenkov
  • Viktor Lan


  • Ivanna Mytrohan

Selected Recordings


Lviv National Philharmonic 7 Tchaikovsky St. 79000 Lviv, Ukraine info@lnpso.org.ua https://lnpso.org.ua/