Mykola Dmytrovich Leontovich was a Ukrainian composer, choral conductor and teacher.
His father, grandfather and great grandfather were all village priests.
He received his first music lessons from his father who was accomplished in playing the double bass, cello, harmonium, guitar and violin along with directing the school choir. His mother was also a singer.
In 1904 Leontovich wrote his most popular piece, ‘Shchedryk’ more commonly known to English speakers as ‘Carol of the Bells’.
On music-scores.com we have over fifty arrangements of Carol of The Bells Sheet Music.
Click HERE to listen to this piece beautifully sung by a children’s choir. (It starts 25 seconds in)
Life and Career
Following the family tradition in 1899 Leontovich graduated as a priest. He then went to St Peterburg to continue his musical studies at the St. Peterburg Court Capella and additionally received private lessons. However, due to the Independence of the Ukrainian state in 1917 Leontovich moved to Kiev, where he began working at both the Kiev Concervatory as music professor and the Mykola Lysenko Institute of Music and Drama.
He became a specialist in Capella choral music fluctuating between original music, folk melodies and text, and church music. Over time he produced some imaginative works and created an elaborate style.
Today Leontovich’s music is predominantly played in the Ukraine. Carol of the Bells remaining popular elsewhere.
Leontovich met with quite an unusual early death at the age of forty-three. He was shot dead/assassinated in his parent’s home. The reason why depends on which version you choose to read…. was it a burglar or a by a member of the Soviet secret police, who then robbed the family? Whichever way it meant that he didn’t get to finish his most ambitious opera ‘on the Water Nymph’s Easter’.
Further Reading & Musical Downloads
On music-scores.com we have over fifty arrangements for you of Leontovich Carol of the Bells Sheet Music.