Museum-apartment of M. Leontovych – Museum «Shchedryk» – a house of legendary melody, which became a symbol of Christmas around the world. The composition on which Mykola Leontovych worked almost all his life first succeeded in Ukraine and subsequently became entrenched in Western culture. The origins of Shchedryk are among folk art, and cultivated by a genius, it began its journey through concert halls, movie screens and even popular serials. The melody is played in the style from the classics to the rock, flash mobs are held, the ratings of the best processing are generated. The prehistoric beginning resonates in the hearts of people from all over the world when they hear this ring. In what conditions was this heritage of world culture born?
In the period from 1908 to 1921 (from 31 until his death) Mykola Leontovych’s home was in Tulchyn. Here he created music, taught singing at the Diocesan Women’s College (1908 – 1918), presided over the Tulchyn «Prosvita». In Tulchyn Leontovych certainly returned from his creative travels to Kiev.
In December 1977 (on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Leontovych’s birth) the Museum-apartment of the composer opened in Tulchyn. This year was also declared by UNESCO the year of M. Leontovych.
A highly professional museum worker Olga Kopaihorodska created the museum. The museum consists of three exhibition rooms and two memorial rooms.
While staying in Mykola Leontovych’s apartment, you can feel the atmosphere of home comfort in which music was born. Each of the composer’s personal belongings (tuning fork, conductor wand, working table) may seem like a magician’s tool. An interesting thing about the museum is gifts for a dear teacher from students and graduates of the Women’s Diocesan School.
The daughter of the composer Halyna Leontovych preserved and passed on to the museum many things of her father. Particularly unique is the composer’s piano. As Halyna recalled: «Here, in the harsh winter, my father was sitting starving and cold. He wraps his legs with a blanket, crouches on his fingers and plays, plays as if he doesn’t notice the cruel reality. For him only music existed. Mother created the maximum conditions for his creative calm and mood. She obviously understood who Leontovych is and whom he remains for Ukraine…».
You can also see the zither musical instrument here. According to the memories of the composer’s sister, zither remembers the best times of the family with material prosperity and a fun life, namely life in Belousivka. There Mykola recorded from the villagers many songs that later went into his «Second Compilation of Songs from Podolia». Also harmonium is. M. Leontovych became acquainted with this musical instrument as soon as he entered Kamianets-Podilskyi Seminary. Travel suitcase of M. Leontovych remembers the hands of a composer who always left his house with it to find new songs…
Memorial rooms are adorned with artistic paintings by composer’s relative Victoria Leontovych and a bust of Leontovych authored by renowned Ukrainian sculptor Halyna Kalchenko.
In 2019, as part of the project «Revitalization of the Museum-apartment of M. Leontovych into the Melody Museum of «Shchedryk» Song through the digitization of funds and creation of physical and virtual interactive and communicative spaces» of the program «Small Cities – Big Impressions» won by Tulchyn City Council, the Museum-apartment has undergone dramatic changes. Three exhibit rooms have been upgraded with modern stands with QR code and interactive touch panels. From now on, the rooms are dedicated to the themes of «Life of Leontovych», «Chapel named after M. Leontovych» and «Shchedryk». They tell about the most important moments in the life and creativity of the composer, here rare photos, personal belongings and musical instruments can be seen. The room «Shchedryk» was formed from the working out of musicologists Valentyna Kuzyk and Tina Peresunko.
Lots of additional information can be found in the can be obtained in the Museum from the touch panels, the interface of which is built very conveniently, divided by such topics: Life path of M. Leontovych, Works of Leontovych, Bibliography, Cultural code of Shchedryk, World triumph of Shchedryk, Shchedryk in modern culture, Tulchyn – the capital of Shchedryk, Choral Chapel of M. Leontovych. We thank cognoscente Anatolii Zavalniuk for providing his working out. And also to our partners – Vinnytsia Regional Universal Scientific Library named after K. Timiriaziev, which was very helpful in gathering information.
Thanks to the QR code, you can download one or another book about Leontovych to your gadgets and thus take a piece of the Museum with you.
The museum is always crowded – mass events, creative meetings, anniversaries of the composer, excursions are a daily creative practice for museum workers. In the museum the tradition developed to hold at the composer’s birthday «Ukrainian vechornytsi». Composers, poets, choir participants, students, etc. come here on this day.