Alexander Shchetynsky

Ukrainian composer of contemporary classical music

Work list of Alexander Shchetynsky includes compositions in many forms ranging from solo instrumental and chamber music to orchestral music, choral pieces, and operas. They have been presented in most European countries and in North America, performed by such internationally acclaimed ensembles as the Moscow opera house Helikon-Opera, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the children's choir Maîtrise de Radio France, the Arditti String Quartet, the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Ensemble Wiener Collage, Ensemble Klangforum, Ensemble Continuum (New York), New Juilliard Ensemble, musikFabrik, and the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, and by artists such as pianist Yvar Mikhashoff, soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson, cellist Alexander Rudin and conductor Teodor Courrentzis. Two CDs including his music were released in the USA and France. His newest CD with choral works was released on the NAXOS label in March 2011. Shchetynsky received awards at six international composer's competitions in Austria, France, Luxembourg, Poland, and Switzerland. Among the jury members at these competitions were A. Dutilleux, M. Rostropovich, K. Penderecki, S. Palm, E. Denisov. In 2000, his chamber opera Annunciation was awarded the Russian National Theatrical Prize, Gold Mask, in the category of Innovation.

Inspired by the Soviet musical avant-garde (especially E. Denisov, A. Schnittke, and A. Pärt) and the Second Viennese School, as well as by O. Messiaen and G. Ligeti, he developed his personal post-serial style based on a combination of quasi-serial procedures and special attention to the attractiveness of sound material and to melody as a source of expression. Another fundamental feature of his music is its rhythmic, structural, and formal flexibility that suggests a "self-development" of the initial micro-thematic patterns. Modern spirituality was an impulse for many of his vocal and instrumental compositions and especially his three operas and his choral works. In these newest compositions, he moves towards post-modernistic aesthetics and aims at finding a new meta-style that integrates stylistic elements of various epochs. He does not, however, consider eclecticism a part of his vocabulary. (Virko Baley)

His style is essentially that of a structuralist, relying on a synthesis of a variety of modernist techniques and exploring in each piece a particular musical metaphor. This method explains his reliance on pieces with descriptive titles. The influence of an especially eastern European variety of minimalism (more meditative and less didactic) is also apparent in the carefully worked out relationship between different degrees of sound and silence, the predominance of soft dynamics, and in the smallest details and changes in pitch, timbre and rhythm. (New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians)

Alexander Shchetynsky is an important Ukrainian composer whose works, which include a variety of instrumental and vocal compositions, have been widely performed, to considerable acclaim, throughout Europe. Proficient in a variety of avant-garde modes of expression, Shchetynsky seeks, and attains, a personal synthesis of stylistic modalities, thereby transcending mere eclecticism. (Zoran Minderovic,

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Premiere of the Symphony 'Corpuscula vitae' for Soprano, Tenor and String Orchestra

News 23.01.2011

First performance of the Symphony 'Corpuscula vitae' for Soprano, Tenor and String Orchestra by Alexander Shchetynsky  on Russian texts by Alexey Parin took place on January 22, 2011 at the Great Hall of the National Philharmony of Ukraine. The ...