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Lviv Polytechnic and Music: musical preferences of Polytechnicians in the past

21 Jul 2020, 11:43
Renata Samotyi, Scientific and Technical Library of Lviv Polytechnic

Polytechnicians have always had a passion for music. So we offer to plunge into the past. Music was played in our alma mater at Ceremonial Academies, at other concert venues in the city or in private salons.

For some Polytechnic graduates, their love to music grew into a successful professional career. In his student years, Yurii Mazurok performed with the folk symphony orchestra of Lviv Polytechnic Institute. After graduating in 1955, he started his postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Petroleum. But his calling won, and Mazurok entered the history of culture as an opera singer, People’s Artist of the USSR and winner of international competitions.

In his student years, Mykola Katsal got interested in music. He conducted an instrumental ensemble, and in 1961 he created a student choir at the Faculty of Geodesy, Lviv Polytechnic Institute. After graduating in 1962, he was working in his profession for three years in Chita. But in the history of Ukrainian art, he is the founder of the Lviv State Academic Male Choir «Dudaryk», conductor, People’s Artist of Ukraine and winner of Shevchenko National Prize.

Polytechnicians of the distant past also had musical preferences. Thus, Ignatius Lemoch (a scientist who participated in the foundation of Technical Academy and taught a course in practical geometry) was interested in music. His music manuscripts are known to have survived.

Let us also mention the mathematician Karol Maszkowski, Rector of Technical Academy (1875–1876), a comprehensively gifted man. He was the organizer of popular lectures on art, a draftsman and a carver. He played the cello very well and toured with the chamber orchestra of the Polish Music Society in Lviv. He founded the Lutnia Singing Society and was its Head.

During the interwar period, the Lviv Polytechnicians Choir, which consisted of both students and academic staff, was founded in 1899 at Lviv Polytechnic. Kasper Weigel, Professor of Geodesy, was an ardent admirer of art. He performed at concerts and composed music for works which were later performed by the Choir.

Among the choristers there were Zygmunt Ciechanowski, Professor in Mechanics, Andrzej Kordetski and Andrzej Pawlikowski, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wiktor Legeżyński, Department of Metalworking, Mechyslaw Zakhar, Department of Construction, Wilhelm Krul, Department of Railway Transport and others. Quite interesting is the statistics of the choir’s activity in 1927: 90 rehearsals, 15 performances, and the number of active participants was 67.

At the Fraternal Assistance Society of Lviv Polytechnic, there was organized a music class for engineers with a symphonic chamber ensemble, and the most popular ensemble was Technic Jazz.

Today we have touched on a slightly unusual topic for the institution of technical education. There are still lots of unexplored and intriguing facts from the multifaceted heritage of Lviv Polytechnic. For example, the student years of Ukrainian composer, conductor and pianist Vasyl Bezkorovainyi, in whose biography it is mentioned that he had studied at Lviv Polytechnic.