Valentin Silvestrov

(b. 30 September 1937, Kiev).

Ukrainian composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, vocal, and piano works that have been performed throughout the world.

Mr. Silvestrov began private studies in music at age fifteen and studied at the Stetsenko Evening Music School for Adults in Kiev from 1953–55, where he graduated with a gold medal, then studied at the Institute of Construction Engineering in Kiev from 1955–58. He studied composition with Boris Lyatoshinsky and counterpoint and harmony with Levko Revutsky at the P. I. Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine in Kiev from 1958–64.

Among his honours are the Koussevitzky Composition Prize (1967), First Prize in the competition of the Internationale Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Amsterdam (1970) and the Taras Shevchenko National Prize from the government of Ukraine (1995).

He taught music theory at various schools for children in Ukraine from 1964–72.

His publisher is Muzychna Ukraina, with some distribution from Schott Music.





Symphony No. 1, 1963, revised 1974

Classical Overture, 1964

Spectra, small orchestra, 1965

Monodia, piano, orchestra, 1965

Symphony No. 2, flute, piano, 2 percussion, string orchestra, 1965

Symphony No. 3, 'Eschatophony', 1966

Hymne, 5 ensembles, 1967

Poem in Memory of Boris Lyatoshinsky, 1968

Meditation (symphony), cello, small orchestra (flute [+ piccolo, alto flute], 2 oboes [both + English horn], bassoon, 2 French horns, piano ad libitum, celesta [+ harpsichord], 10 violins, 4 violas, 3 cellos, 2 double basses), 1972

Symphony No. 4, orchestra (brass, strings), 1976

Serenade, string orchestra (10 violins, 4 violas, 3 cellos, 2 double basses), 1978

Symphony No. 5, 1980–82

Intermezzo, small orchestra, 1983

Postludium (symphonic poem), piano, orchestra, 1984

Exegi monumentum (symphony, text by Alexander Pushkin), baritone, orchestra, 1985–87

Widmung (symphony–concerto), violin, orchestra, 1990–91

Metamusik (symphony), piano, orchestra, 1992

Symphony No. 6, 1994–95, revised 2002

The Messenger, synthesizer (+ piano), string orchestra, 1996–97

Epitaph, piano, string orchestra, 1999

Autumn Serenade, small orchestra, 2000

Hymn 2001, string orchestra, 2001

Walzer, 2002

Symphony No. 7, 2003

Four Postludes, piano, orchestra, 2004

Symphony No. 8, 2012–13

Symphony No. 9, 'Oda do Radosti' – 'Ode to Joy' (texts by Friedrich von Schiller, Mykola Lukash), mixed chorus, orchestra, 2015

Symphony No. 10, 2015


Quintet, piano, string quartet, 1961

Quartetto piccolo, string quartet, 1961

Trio, flute, trumpet, celesta, 1962

Mysterium, alto flute, 6 percussion, 1964

Projections, harpsichord, vibraphone, tubular bells, 1965

Drama, violin, cello, piano, 1970–71, revised 2002

String Quartet No. 1, 1974

Postludium, violin, 1981

Postludium, cello, piano, 1982

Sonata, cello, piano, 1983

String Quartet No. 2, 1988

Post Scriptum (sonata), violin, piano, 1990–91

Misterioso, clarinet, piano, 1996

Orfeo – Eternal Melody, synthesizer, 1997–98

Elegy, cello (+ 2 tam-tams), 1999

Epitaph (L. B.), viola/cello, piano, 1999

Lacrimosa, viola, 2003

28 July Memory of J. S. B., cello, 2004

8 June the Birthday of R. Sch., 2 cellos, 2004

Melodien der Augenblicke (22 pieces in 7 cycles), violin, piano, 2004–05

Five New Pieces, violin, piano, 2009

String Quartet No. 3, 2011


Cantata (text by Taras Shevchenko), mixed chorus, 1977

Diptych (texts from the Pater noster, Taras Shevchenko), mixed chorus, 1995

Elegy (text by Taras Shevchenko), mixed chorus, 1996

Requiem for Larissa (texts from the Mass, Taras Shevchenko), mixed chorus, orchestra, 1997–99

Liturgical Chants, mixed chorus, 2005

Two Psalms of David (texts from Psalm 37, Psalm 150), mixed chorus, 2007

Five Sacred Songs, mixed chorus, 2009


Two Romances (text by Alexander Blok), middle voice, piano, 1960

Cantata (texts by Fyodor Tyutchev, Alexander Blok), soprano, small orchestra, 1973

Silent Songs (song-cycle, texts by Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, John Keats, Sergei Yesenin, Taras Shevchenko, Fyodor Tyutchev, Osip Mandelstam), baritone, piano, 1974–77

Ancient Ballad, voice, piano, 1977

Forest Music (text by Gennadiy Aygi), soprano, French horn, piano, 1977–78

Simple Songs (song-cycle, texts by Osip Mandelstam, Alexander Pushkin, an anonymous source), middle voice, piano, 1974–81

Postludium D-S-C-H, soprano, violin, cello, piano, 1981

Stupeni – Steps, soprano, piano, 1982, revised 1998

Four Songs (text by Osip Mandelstam), baritone, piano, 1982

Ode to a Nightingale (cantata, text by John Keats), soprano, small orchestra, 1983

The River of Times (text by Gavrila Derzhavin), middle voice, piano, 1999

Morning Song, soprano, piano, 2000

The Final Tune of a Wayfarer (text by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz), soprano, piano, 2002

Three Songs to Poems by Gennadiy Aygi (text by Gennadiy Aygi), soprano, piano, 2003

Diptych (text by Fyodor Tyutchev), soprano, piano, 2004

Lullaby for Emily – The Cat and the Pianist (text by the composer), soprano, piano, 2004

Moments of Poetry and Music (text by Paul Celan), soprano, piano


Naïve Music, 1954–55, revised 1993

Musica lontana, 1956, revised 1993

Intermezzo, 1956, revised 2000

Nocturne, 1957, revised 2000

Bagatelles, 1958, revised 2000

Sonatina, 1960, revised 1965

Five Pieces, 1961

Triada (13 pieces), 1961–62

Classical Sonata, 1963

Elegy, 1967

Sonata No. 1, 1972

Music in Olden Style, 1973

Music for Children, Books 1–2, 1973

Sonata No. 2, 1975

Kitsch-Musik (5 pieces), 1977

Sonata No. 3, 1979

Der Bote, 1996–97

Ustnaya Muzyka 1 – Verbal Music 1, 1998

Ustnaya Muzyka 2, 1999

Hymn 2001, 2001

Two Dialogues with Postface, 2001–02

3 February Memory of M. I. G., 2004

Four Pieces, Op. 2, 2006

Two Bagatelles, Op. 173, 2011


Two Waltzes, Op. 153


String Quartet No. 1. Lysenko String Quartet (Melodiya: S 1017117/18) (LP)

Symphony No. 5. Roman Kofman/Orchestra of the P. I. Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine in Kiev (Melodiya: S 1027029) (LP)

Symphony No. 2 (excerpt). (Arts & Electronics, 1988)

Symphony No. 5; Stupeni; Elegy. Alexei Lubimov, piano; Arvo Volmer/Eesti Riiklik Sümfooniaorkester (col legno: AU 31840, 1990)

Quartetto piccolo; String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2; Postludium (violin). Lysenko String Quartet (Etcetera Records: KTC 1151, 1993)

Postludium. Elissa Stutz, piano; Virko Baley/State Symphony Capella of Russia (Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga: MK 417116, 1993)

Sonata No. 1; Sonata No. 2; Sonata No. 3; Sonata (cello, piano). Iwan Monighetti, cello; Alexei Lubimov, piano (Erato Records: 2292-45631-2, 1994)

Monodia; Symphony No. 4; Postludium. Ivan Sokolov, piano; Andrey Boreyko/Ural Philharmonic Orchestra (Space/Deutsche Schallplatten Berlin: 315 222, 1994 [reissued as Megadisc Classics: MDC 7837, 1998])

Symphony No. 5; Exegi monumentum. Sergey Yakovenko, baritone; Andrey Boreyko/Ural Philharmonic Orchestra (Space/Deutsche Schallplatten Berlin: 315 223, 1994 [reissued as Megadisc Classics: MDC 7836, 1998])

Five Pieces. Tatyana Ryabchikova, piano (Sonora Productions: S022571, 1995)

Symphony No. 2; Meditation; Serenade. Oleg Hudiyakov, flute; Alexander Rudin, cello; Ivan Sokolov, piano; Mikhail Dunayev, Konstantin Smirnov, percussion; Nikolai Alexeyev, Alexander Rudin/Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra (Olympia: OCD 477, 1996)

Symphony No. 5; Postludium. Alexei Lubimov, piano; David Robertson/Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Sony Classical: SK 66825, 1996)

Widmung; Post Scriptum. Gidon Kremer, violin; Vadim Sacharov, piano; Roman Kofman/Münchner Philharmoniker (Teldec: 99206, 1996)

Symphony No. 5; String Quartet No. 1; Kitsch-Musik (2 excerpts). Irina Plotnikova, piano; Lysenko String Quartet; Roman Kofman/Orchestra of the P. I. Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine in Kiev (BMG/Melodiya: 74321-49959-2, 1997)

Elegy. Ingrid Karlen, piano (ECM New Series: 1606, 1997)

Cantata (1973); Ode to the Nightingale; Cantata (1977); Diptych (1995). Lidia Stovbun, soprano; Yevhen Savchuk/Dumka; Virko Baley/Kiev Camerata (Megadisc Classics: MDC 7842, 1997)

Silent Songs. Alexei Martinov, baritone; Alexei Lubimov, piano (Megadisc Classics: MDC 7840–41, 1998)

Stupeni; Ustnaya Muzyka 1; Ustnaya Muzyka 2. Jana Ivanilova, soprano; Alexei Lubimov, Valentin Silvestrov, pianos (Megadisc Classics: MDC 7832, 1999)

The Messenger. Gidon Kremer/Kremerata Baltica (Nonesuch Records: 7559-79633-2, 2001)

Elegy; Der Bote. Alexei Lubimov, piano (ECM New Series: 1771, 2001)

Sonata (cello, piano); String Quartet No. 1; Postludium D-S-C-H; Postludium (violin; cello, piano); Hymn 2001 (piano). Maacha Deubner, soprano; Simon Fordham, violin; Anja Lechner, cello; Silke Avenhaus, Valentin Silvestrov, pianos; Rosamunde Quartett (ECM New Series: 1776, 2002)

Requiem for Larissa. Volodymyr Sirenko/Dumka, Natsionalny Simfonichny Orkestr Ukraini (ECM New Series: 1778, 2002)

Metamusik; Postludium. Alexei Lubimov, piano; Dennis Russell Davies/ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien (ECM New Series: 1790, 2003)

Silent Songs; Four Songs. Sergey Yakovenko, baritone; Ilya Scheps, Valentin Silvestrov, pianos (ECM New Series: 1898/99, 2004)

Sonata No. 2. Alexei Lubimov, piano (Solyd Records: SLR 0361, 2004)

Post Scriptum; Misterioso. Kyrill Rybakov, clarinet; Alexander Trostyansky, violin; Alexei Lubimov, piano (ECM New Series: 1959, 2006)

Two Dialogues with Postface; Moments of Poetry and Music; Three Songs to Poems by Gennadiy Aygi; Lacrimosa; Epitaph; Post Scriptum; Sonata No. 2; 28 July Memory of J. S. B., cello, 2004; 8 June the Birthday of R. Sch.; Diptych (2004); 3 February Memory of M. I. G.; The Final Tune of a Wayfarer; Lullaby for Emily – The Cat and the Pianist. Svetlana Savenko, soprano; Alexander Trostyansky, violin; Ilya Gofman, viola; Aleksandr Grashenkov, Alexander Rudin, cellos; Alexei Lubimov, Yury Polubelov, pianos (Solyd Records: SLR 0370/71, 2006)

Symphony No. 6. Andrey Boreyko/Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR (ECM New Series: 1935, 2007)

Der Bote. Alexei Lubimov, piano; Christoph Poppen/Münchener Kammerorchester (ECM New Series, 2007)

Nostalghia; Two Pieces; Two Dialogues with an Epilogue; Three Postludes; Three Pieces; Two Pieces; Three Waltzes; Sonata No. 1; Der Bote. Jenny Lin, piano (hänssler CLASSIC: CD 98.229, 2007)

Post Scriptum; Epitaph (L. B.); Drama. Cornelius Dufallo, violin; Yves Dharamraj, cello; Jenny Lin, piano (Koch International Classics: KIC-CD-3-7740-2, 2007)

Symphony No. 6. Roman Kofman/Beethoven Orchester Bonn (Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm: MDG 337 1478-2, 2007)

Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5. Jukka-Pekka Saraste/Sinfonia Lahti (BIS Records: BIS-CD-1703, 2009)

Naïve Music; Der Bote; Two Waltzes, Op. 153; Four Pieces, Op. 2; Two Bagatelles, Op. 173; Kitsch-Musik. Elisaveta Blumina, piano (Grand Piano: GP639, 2013)

Sonata No. 1; Classical Sonata; Sonata No. 2; Music for Children, Book 1; Sonata No. 3; Nostalghia. Simon Smith, piano (Delphian Records: DCD34151, 2015)

Four Postludes; Hymn 2001 (version for string orchestra). Elisaveta Blumina, piano; Thomas Sanderling/Stuttgarter Kammerorchester (Grand Piano: GP678, 2016)

Naïve Music (excerpts). Mykola Suk, piano (Cambria: 1401)