Composer and conductor Ivan Ostapovych (b. 1988 in the Chernivtsi Oblast in Western Ukraine) is the Co-Founder of the Collegium Musicum Lviv and the Collegium Musicum Chamber Orchestra for which he is the music director. He has also served as the Artistic Director for the ensemble’s Bach Music Days in 2014 and the Lviv Hindemith Fest in 2015. Ostapovych studied at the Solomiya Krushelnytska Specialized Music School in Lviv and later at the Pyotr Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine (a.k.a. Kyiv Conservatory), which is one of the oldest and the most prestigious higher music education institutions in the country, in the department of opera and symphonic conducting where he studied with Viktor Zdorenko, a People’s Artist of Ukraine. After graduating from the academy he entered the Mykola Lysenko Lviv National Academy of Music where he studied bassoon as well as composition with Bohdana Frolyak. After graduating, he worked as the second conductor of the Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Philharmonic from 2013 to 2015. He also led performances of the National Honored Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Rivne Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Ternopil Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, INSO-Lviv Symphony Orchestra, and the Cantus Chamber Choir (Uzhgorod). Although Ostapovych has devoted the majority of his time to conducting in recent years, composing remains very important to him.
Ivan Ostapovych’s Songs of Love is a deeply moving meditative work for string orchestra with a mysterious piano obbligato toward the conclusion. It is the second work from Ukraine we are featuring as part of a special series of the ISCM Virtual Collaborative Series focusing on music by Ukrainian composers during this very difficult time. (The first work we featured, Julia Gomelskaya’s 2008 trombone, piano, percussion trio Jab-Jazz, is available here.) Ostapovych conducted Songs of Love along with a newly composed violin concerto for the internationally acclaimed Japanese-American violinist Midori by the Ukrainian composer Oleg Bezborodko and works by Beethoven in a series of concerts featuring Midori in Ukraine in September 2019. – FJO