Born in 1917 in Dolyna (Ukrain) Dr Myroslav Antonowycz studied musicology and singing in Lviv (Lemberg) and in Vienna, and performed in various operas. He finished his studies in musicology at Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and completed his thesis in 1951 under Professor Dr
A. Smijers. He has published three works on Eastern and Western European music and several articles in international music literature. He has also given lectures at musical congresses including in Utrecht, Oxford, Salzburg and New York.
For 40 years Dr Myroslav Antonowycz conducted the Utrecht Byzantine Choir (UBK) and led it to flourish. The UBK has performed hundreds of successful concerts and Eastern liturgies both in the Netherlands and abroad.
Several memorable highlights:
1954 Concert with mezzo-soprano Ugenia Zareski in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
1955 A performance at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Paris, France, followed by many concerts in various churches and concert halls in Paris.
1956 Concert in the Strasbourg Cathedral, Germany.
1957 Concert in the Gürtzenich concert hall in Cologne, Germany.
1958 Concerts in Brussels (Expo), Belgium, and in Munich, Germany, and a reception hosted by H.M. Queen Juliana at Soestdijk Palace.
1959 Concert in St. Peter’s in Rome, Italy, and an audience with Pope John XXIII, concert in the Capitol. Concerts were also given in Rome in 1970, 1971 and 1973.
1960 Concert during Eucharistic Congress at Theresienwiese in Munich for an audiance of one million. The concert was broadcast to several countries on TV.
1961 Concert in Westminster, London (Easter).
1971 Concert to commemorate the 20th anniversary of UBK in Utrecht with the collaboration of the Utrecht Municipal Orchestra under the direction of Dr Myroslav Antonowycz. Works of several Ukrainian composers were performed including a work by Dr Myroslav Antonowycz.
1975 On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of UBK a 16-day concert tour in Canada and the USA was first organised. Twenty-one performances were given including in New York City Hall and a reception was held in Toronto City Hall.
1976 Concert during the Holland Festival in the English Church of Amsterdam.
1980 In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of UBK a second tour was made in Canada and the USA. Eighteen concerts were given in 23 days. In Ottawa UBK performed in the Senate and was the first choir to have this privilege.
1981 A concert tour in England on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of UBK.
1988 In remembrance of a thousand years of Christianity in Ukrain, the UBK choir was invited to sing the Easter Liturgy in Muri, Switzerland, the performance of which was broadcast on Eurovision TV. Several other memorial concerts were given in theRoyal Albert Hall, in London, and in Rome: the Vatican City (Pontificial Auditorium and in St. Peter’s in the presence of Pope John Paul II), and in the Paul VI and St. Della Valle churches.
1990 A concert tour and Liturgy performances took place in Ukrain. Performances in Kiev and Lviv were broadcast on TV.
1997 The Lysenko Choir performed in the Jacobi Church in Utrecht for the first time.
Dr Myroslav Antonowycz was awarded the Dutch honour of ‘Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau’, decorated with the religious ‘Knight of the Holy Gregory the Great’ and awarded the medal of merit of the City of Utrecht. In 1997 he was decorated by the Ukrainian President, L. Koetsjma, for his services in the promotion of Ukrainian music.
In the year 2001 again het was decorated. This time by de Ambassador of the Ukraine for the Benelux Mr. V. Khandogiy