Ukrainian composer, conductor and teacher Borys Mykolayovych Lyatoshynsky was born in Zhytomyr on 3 January 1895. He studied law at Kyiv University but also took composition lessons from Reinhold Glière and was also a student at Kyiv Conservatory. He taught composition at the conservatory and became professor of composition there in 1935. He led the Ukrainian Society of Contemporary Music. During the period 1935-44 he taught orchestration at the Moscow Conservatoire, worked on arrangements of Ukrainian songs and organised the removal of Ukrainian manuscripts to safety. In 1944 he returned to Kyiv as artistic director of the Ukrainian Philharmonic and music consultant to the Radio Committee. He also resumed his teaching work at the Kyiv Conservatory.
His early works were inspired by Glazunov, Scriabin and Tchaikovsky. Later he developed a modern European style which integrated Ukrainian folk music. There was also a Polish influence on his music, because of the Polish side of his family.
He wrote two operas, five symphonies and other orchestral music, but very little of it was performed during his lifetime. Some of his music was unpopular with the Soviet authorities.
Boris Lyatoshynsky died in Kyiv on 15 April 1968, aged seventy-three. His music began to become known internationally when his symphonies were recorded in 1993 and released on the Marco Polo label.
CD Spotlight. Interesting and Quite Unique - Geoff Pearce commends this set of orchestral music by Ukrainian composer Boris Lyatoshynsky. 'There is some very impressive playing here by this magnificent orchestra.'