Yury M. Butsko


Yury M. Butsko (1938–2015) – Russian composer, Professor of Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. Graduated from the Department of Music History and Theory of Moscow Conservatory (1966) and from the post-graduate course of Moscow Conservatory. From 1968 up to 2013 he taught score reading and instrumentation at Moscow Conservatory. The first works by Butsko, which became renown, were written yet in his Conservatory years. They continue the traditions of Russian musical classics, especially of M. P. Mussorgsky: monoopera Diary of a Madman (after N. V. Gogol), chamber opera White Nights (after F. M. Dostoevsky). A number of works of 1960–1970 is connected with the so-called “new folklore wave” in Russian music of this period, for example, cantatas Soiree and Nuptial Songs. Both those lines remain unchanged, when Butsko recollected himself on development of ancient Russian monodic church modes. The most massive work in such a style is the Polyphonic Concerto. Later the elements of this harmonic-polyphonic system become a natural part of the composer’s language, and ancient Russian motifs are freely developed in his works. In his last decades Butsko preferred large instrumental forms: he wrote 7 symphonies, symphonies-suites based on folklore material, chamber symphonies, concertos for solo instruments and orchestra, vocal-symphonic works. From the second half of the 60s up to the middle of the 80s, Butsko also worked a lot for theater and cinema. Yury Butsko died on April, 25, 2015. Numerous of his works remains unperformed and unpublished.