Choral Conducting Department


Head of the Department

Honored Worker of Arts of Ukraine, Full Professor,
artistic director of the Students' Choir







The Department of Choral Conducting was founded in the 30s of the 20th century with the corresponding educational programs previously created by specialized conservatory departments in Kyiv, Moscow, and Leningrad. The main composition of the department is historically connected with the names of outstanding lecturers and practitioners - O. A. Perunov (worked from 1928), Z.  Zahranychnyi (from 1929), K. Hrechenko (from 1930). Later, the graduates S. Faintukh and A. Bas-Lebedynets joined the department. At all times of the department's existence, it was headed by the best choral conductors, lecturers and organizers: O. Perunov (1954–1959), K. Hrechenko (1951–1972), А. Miroshnykova (1970–1972), Y. Kulyk (1972–1983), V. Palkin (1983–2008), and since 2008, the department has been led by S. Prokopov.

The work of the founders of the Kharkiv Conducting and Choir School was successfully continued by their students: Z. Yakovleva (graduated from the class of K. Hrechenko), among her pupils was the Honored Artist of the Russian Federation O. Ponomarov, the People's Artist of Ukraine, Full Professor of the Kharkiv I.P.Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts O. Litvinov; A. Miroshnykova is Honored Artist of Ukraine, Full Professor, the first ever PhD in Art Studies in the history of the department, combined the traditions of the Kharkiv and Kyiv choirmaster schools in her pedagogical work, and educated a whole galaxy of famous choral masters. These are People's Artist of Ukraine Н. Kasianenko, Honored Artists of Ukraine, Professors Y. Kulyk, S. Prokopov, Associate Professor Y. Yanko, PhD in Art Studies, Full Professor N. Byelik-Zolotarova, Honored Artist of Ukraine V. Osypenko, PhD in Pedagogy, Associate Professor O. Vasylieva, Associate Professor V. Boiko, famous conductors O. Koshman, O. Fartushka, D. Morozov and others; Y. Kulyk is Honored Artist of Ukraine, Full Professor, a student of A. Miroshnykova, an outstanding conductor and teacher, a master of choral arrangements, for about 25 years he was the constant leader of the students' choir. Among his students are People's Artist of Ukraine I. Klymenko (Hapon), Honored Artist of Ukraine E. Kuzma, and PhD in Philosophy, Associate Professor V. Matiukhin.

People's Artist of Ukraine Ye.Dushchenko, Full Professor N. Andros, Associate Professor Y. Hrytchyna, as well as O. Nahornyi, D. Hershman, O. Kolomiiets, Honored Art Worker of Ukraine, Full Professor O.Petrosian, D. Bondarenko, V. Khodko, O. Linkov, Laureate of the All-Ukrainian Competition A. Syrotenko, Honored Artist of Ukraine, Associate Professor O. Artsemiuk, Associate Professor S. Pysmenna contributed to the development of the department at different times.

The direct heir of the founders of the department and its head for a long time (from 1983 to 2008), was a student of O. Perunov, People's Artist, laureate of the National Prize of Ukraine named after T. G. Shevchenko and holder of a number of other honorary titles, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Full Professor V. Palkin. He combined pedagogic activity with brilliant performing work, was the founder of one of the best ensembles in Ukraine — the Academic Chamber Choir of the Kharkiv Regional Philharmonic, which now bears his name. Among the graduates of V. Palkin's class are outstanding musicians — Hero of Ukraine, People's Artist of Ukraine R. Kyrychenko, Dr. habil. in Pedagogy O. Mykhailichenko, Dr. habil. in Art Studies, Full Professor O. Batovska, PhD in Art Studies, Associate Professor H. Savelieva, famous conductors A. Syrotenko , Т. Herasymchuk, O. Baboshyna.

Since 2008 to the present, the department has been headed by S. Prokopov - Honored Worker of Arts of Ukraine, Full Professor, choral conductor, artistic director of the Students' Choir of Kharkiv I.P.Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts, music and public figure, laureate of the municipal award named after I. Slatin, winner of the "National Recognition" award, an Excellent Worker of Public Education of Ukraine, winner of many other honorary awards. He is the chairman of numerous international and all-Ukrainian choral competitions (named after M. Leontovych, Kyiv; "Golden Orpheus", Kropyvnytskyi; In memory of Raisa Kyrychenko, Poltava, etc.), chairman of the SEC of UNTAM Tchaikovskyi (2016, 2018, 2019). For 35 years, he led the folk art group, the "Spring Voices" choir of the Kharkiv Regional Palace of Children's and Youth Creativity, which,  under the guidance of S. Prokopov, became a laureate and winner of the grand prix of international and all-Ukrainian competitions. The choir represented Ukrainian art in Belarus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland, and France. Among the graduates are Dr. habil. in Pedagogy, Full Professor of H. Skovoroda NPU N. Tararak, Honored Artist of Ukraine S. Chernohor (Zaporizka Philharmonic), PhD in Art Studies, Associate Professors Y. Kyrylenko, N. Mykhaшlova, M. Kovtunov, as well as O. Pivovarskyi (Austria), laureates and diploma-winers of all-Ukrainian and international competitions of choral conductors А. Aleksieiev, А. Vyshnevetska (Kamenieva), D. Kruhliak, D. Doroshenko, К. Koriepanova, Y. Maliarevskyi, О. Fartushka, О. Yastrub, students D. Tkachev, I. Konorov and others.

In 2022, the department changed its name. The teaching staff included specialists in opera and symphonic conducting. Today, 15 lecturers work at the Department of Choral, Opera and Symphony Сonducting. In addition to the head of the department, there are Dr. habil. in Art Studies, Full Professor O. Batovska; Honored Art Worker of Ukraine, PhD in Art Studies, Full Professor N. Byelik-Zolotarova; PhD in Art Studies, Assistant Professor H. Savelieva; PhD in Art Studies, Assistant Professor Y. Ivanova; PhD in Art Studies, Assistant Professor of the department N. Mykhailova; PhD, Senior Lecturer O. Fartushka; PhD in Art Studies, Senior Lecturer A.  Vyshnevetska; Honored Artist of Ukraine, Lecturer O. E. Chumak; Lecturer O. Yastrub; solo singing class Lecturer — PhD in Art Studies, Assistant Professor V. Mykhaшlets. According to the specialization "Opera and Symphony Conducting", the following specialists work: Y. Yanko — People's Artist of Ukraine, Associate Professor, director of the Kharkiv Regional Philharmonic, artistic director of the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Philharmonic, laureate of the international competition, who successfully represents the musical art of Ukraine in various countries of the world (he teaches specialty, performing and pedagogical mastery in two specializations — choral and opera-symphonic conducting); Y. Diachenko – PhD in Art Studies, Associate Professor, director of the students' symphony orchestra of the Kharkiv I.P.Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts (specialty, performing and pedagogical mastery, practice by specialty); V. Pluzhnikov – PhD in Art Studies, Associate Professor (complex of theoretical disciplines, fundamentals of instrumentation and conducting); Lecturer V. Saverskyi (specialty, pedagogical practice, practice by specialty, work in an orchestra class).

An important link in the education of a choral conductor is cooperation with accompanists. Experienced musicians and bright pianists, highly professional masters have always worked as accompanists at the department. Today, among them are graduates of national competitions H. Salamatova, О. Rukina, leading accompanists О. Holenko, H. Koloniei, SPrystalovaО. Prokopovych, М. Fisun.

Among all educational disciplines, the dominant role belongs to the choral class. The educational and artistic work carried out by its leaders is of unmatched importance. The choir class is still the main instrument of choir master education at the department; it is here that students have an opportunity to show their individual creative abilities. During the existence of the choir class, it was led by experienced choir conductors — K. HrechenkoZ.  ZahranychnyiS. FaintukhA. Bas-LebedynetsY. KulykS. ProkopovО. LinkovV. Aparin,А. Syrotenko,V. Kutluiev. Through their efforts, clear educational, methodical and organizational work was established in the team, which is fundamentally combined with a wide concert and educational activity.

Before the appearance of a professional collective in the Kharkiv Regional Philharmonic, the Student Choir of the Department of Choral Conducting was the main participant in the city's concert events. During its existence, it repeatedly became the winner of many national competitions and festivals. V. PalkinDBondarenkoV. Khodko,S. ProkopovN. Byelik-ZolotarovaHSavelievaD. Doroshenko,О. Fartushka worked as choirmasters there; now the students' choir of the department is again led by Full Professor S. Prokopov, choirmasters are O. Fartushka, O.  Yastrub.

The repertoire base of the discipline is choral classic works and the list of performed works is constantly replenished with new modern compositions. Only in recent years, such large-scale works as cantatas by J. S. Bach, oratorios by F. Mendelssohn and R. Schumann, masses by W. A. Mozart, J. Haydn, works by G. Verdi, J. Brahms, L. van Beethoven, F. Poulenc, opus of Ukrainian composers from classics to contemporary ones — M. Lysenko, M. Berezovsky, D. Bortniansky, A. Vedel (the department held a festival of choral music for his 250th anniversary), M. Leontovych, O. Koshyts, K. Stetsenko, B. Lyatoshynsky, H. Maiboroda, E. Stankovych, L. Dychko, G. Havrilets, V. Zubytskyi, T. Kravtsov, V. Ptushkin, Y. Alzhnev, V. Drobiazghina, A. Haidenko, V. Muzhchyl.

Among the works performed by the student choir were the Ukrainian premieres — J.S. Bach cantata No. 140, H. Handel's Te Deum, J. Haydn's Nelson Messe, W. A. Mozart's Messe brevis D-dur, "I prayed to Your face, O Lord" by A. Vedel edited by L. Dychko, the oratorio "Ilia" by F. Mendelssohn, "Paradise and Fairy" by R. Schuman. All these works were performed by the students' choir during the annual Kharkiv Assemblies International Festival. In 2021, the student choir (conductor O. Fartushka) took part in the 1st International Choir Festival Palkin Fest (Kharkiv), prepared a concert program for the 270th anniversary of the outstanding Ukrainian composer D. Bortniansky.

The most important condition for the correct development of a choir master is the constant implementation of theoretical and methodological instructions in the practice of choir management. The tradition of a close connection between theory and practice has been preserved today thanks to the operation of the choral laboratory at the Department based on the Students' Choir and teams led by lecturers of the Department, where students undergo choirmaster practice, mastering the techniques and methods of working with the choir, independent preparation for choral classes, and the ability to create their own interpretation, skillful reproduction of musical and artistic images.

The basis for "Practice by Profession" in the 3d and 4th years, as well as in the 1st year of the master's degree, are, respectively, amateur, educational choral groups and the choir of the opera house. Practice leaders are experienced choral conductors Y. Ivanova, S. Prokopov, and N. Byelik-Zolotarova. The best graduates of the course have an opportunity to reveal their individuality by preparing their own diploma programs on the basis of the students' choir.

Pedagogical practice of students of the 4th year is given on the basis of Communal institution "Kharkiv Music Vocational College named after B.M. Lyatoshynskyi" and Kharkiv State Music Lyceum.

A vocal ensemble of ancient music "Cantus Firmus", which included young lecturers and students, was created at the department.

The Department is proud of graduates and students who became winners of the All-Ukrainian competition of choral conductors (Kyiv), among them are laureates A. Syrotenko (1998), YHunder (1998), N. Lukina (2001), D. Morozov (2001, 2005), H. Savelieva (2005), Y. Pankov (2005), O. Yunek (2008), D. Kruhliak (2016); diploma winners Т. Herasymchuk (2005, 2008), O. Baboshyna (2005), O. Babenko (2008), D. Doroshenko (2008), O. Fartushka (2012), К. Koriepanova (2016), O. Yastrub (2016). Winners of the All-Ukrainian student competition of choral conductors in Ivano-Frankivsk (2014), Kirovohrad (2016) — M. Holenko (Huzynets), grand prix; A. Vyshnevetska (Kamenieva)М. Dzivaltivskyi, Y. Maliarevskyi (laureates); D. Orekhivska, M. Zhdanov (diploma winners), in Odessa (2019) — А. AleksieievD Kozyk (laureates), in Odessa (the international competition, 2020, 2022) — I. Kalinina, L. Sidorova, in Kyiv (the international competition, 2021) – K. Pryimak, I. Shamuhiia (laureates); in Kharkiv (the international competition, 2021) — D. Tkachov (diploma winner); in Odesa (the international and all-Ukrainian competitions, 2022) – I. Konorov, D. Tkachov, S. Myhal (laureates).

The traditional creative actions, conducted by the Department of Choral Conducting at the current stage of its development, are annual festivals of choral groups led by students of the Department, its graduates, postgraduate students, trainee assistants and young lecturers.

A real event of an all-Ukrainian scale was the competition of choral conductors, which was held for the first time in Kharkiv as part of the competition "Kharkiv Assemblies" 2018.

Since 2017, the all-Ukrainian scientific and practical conference "Conductor and choral education: synthesis of theory and practice" has been held on the basis of the Department of Choral Conducting, which has an international status from 2022. More than 60 scientists from 15 cities of Ukraine and abroad took part in it. Based on its materials, scientific collections containing articles on a wide range of issues of choral creativity, choral performance, and choral education are published.

Since 2018, the All-Ukrainian competition of choral conductors for students of professional music colleges and students of music lyceums has been held on the basis of the Department of Choral Conducting.