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The Wizard of the Folk Song

The Wizard of the Folk Song
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The exhibition "The Wizard of the Folk Song" is on show in the Music and Audiovisual Documents Reading Room (room 305) from January 12 to February 12, timed to coincide with the 130th anniversary of the birth of the Belarusian choral conductor and folklorist Ryhor Shyrma (1892–1978).

Ryhor Shyrma was an outstanding personality in the culture of the Belarusian people of the twentieth century. Musician, choirmaster, collector and promoter of Belarusian folk songs, founder of the State Academic Choir of the Republic of Belarus. His creative legacy is a national treasure that is still relevant for artists in various fields of culture today.

Shyrma's entire career was focused on preserving and carrying on the life of the Belarusian song. He collected, arranged, studied and introduced numerous pieces of Belarusian folk music into the repertoire of choral groups. The edition "Belarusian Folk Songs (for choir)" (1971–1973) compiled by him, contains over 200 arrangements of folk songs. The scholar expressed his aesthetic views, collecting principles and reflections on the genesis of selected folklore genres in his prefaces to collections of songs and in a number of articles.

The exhibition features over 60 documents, including the first folklore collection by Shyrma Belarusian Folk Songs (1929), Belarusian Folk Songs, Riddles and Fairy Tales (1947), Two Hundred Belarusian Folk Songs (1958) and the four-volume Belarusian Folk Songs (1959–1976), the culmination of nearly 70 years of Ryhor Shyrma's collecting and creative work. Published in the 20s and 70s of the 20th century, the collections remain a valuable source of knowledge and inspiration for Belarusian musicians to this day.

The literary heritage of Ryhor Shyrma also includes a book called The Song is the Soul of the People (1993). The collection contains some of his most significant written and oral statements throughout his public and artistic life.

Recordings of songs, books and articles about the master written by A. Zhurau, I. Nisnievich, A. Lis, V. Litvinka, T. Varfalamiejeva and others complete the exhibition. In his 1983 book A Song for the Whole Life, numerous writers, composers and other cultural figures share their memories of Ryhor Shyrma, as well as their thoughts on his work.

The books presented at the exhibition can be ordered through the electronic catalogue of the National Library of Belarus.

The opening hours of the exhibition correspond to the library’s opening hours.
Admission is by the library card or by the Social and Cultural Centre ticket.

For more info: (+375 17) 293 27 52.

Special Collections Service Department.

 

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