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Kosenko, Viktor (1896-1938)

Viktor Stepanovych Kosenko was born in Saint Petersburg on November 23, 1896, the son of Major General Stepan and his wife Leopolda. In his lifetime Viktor was a Ukrainian composer, virtuoso pianist, a piano pedagogue and educator. In his earlier years his principal influences were Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and Lysenko. His talent was discovered quite early, so he began private piano lessons from Aleksander Michalowski and Mikhail Sokolovsky when he was 9 years old. Later he became a graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied piano with Iryna Miklashovskaya and with Mikhail Sokolovsky.

In 1921 Kosenko and fellow musicians founded the Leotovyek Music Society. Kosenko gave his debut playing his own compositions in September in 1922 in Zhytomyr attended by family and friends. Kosenko moved to Zhytomyr where he taught piano and music theory at the Music Technicum, and was later the director of the Zhytomyr Music School. Kosenko became the leading figure among the broad-minded artistic collectives of 20th Century Ukrainian music. By then Kosenko’s symphonic compositions such as his Heroic Overture received wide admiration. He was a true artist in every sense of the word. His chamber and symphonic works were among his most important pieces of that time. Kosenko was an extraordinary lyricist. Kosenko’s music is characterized as Romantic and Late Romantic styles. He also composed over 100 compositions for piano including waltzes, preludes, nocturnes, sonatas, and mazurkas. If the symphonic pieces, piano concertos, trios, string quartets, ballads, coral pieces and folk arrangements are included, the count exceeds 250 works despite an early death

Creative conflicts with the Stalin regime in Russia prompted yet another move, this time to Kiev. There he became a music professor in 1932. At the Kiev Conservatory he taught piano and chamber ensemble classes.

During his short life, Kosenko also held important positions in academia, music circles, and was often a juror at important piano competitions.

Kosenko died on October 3, 1938 of kidney cancer. His grave is at the Baikov Cemetery in Kiev.


  1. Etudes op. 8
  2. Consolations, op. 9
  3. Poem Legends, op. 12
Feb 22, 2016
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