The Marechek Family in the Musical life of Kharkiv and Prague 19–20 Centuries




musical culture of Kharkiv, activity of the Marechek family, military bandmaster, musicentrepreneurial business, music-teaching activity


The relevance of the study. From the mid-1870s to the early 1950s, the Kharkiv musical community was well acquainted with the Czech surname Mareček, as several generations of this family worked in the city, covering various spheres and vectors of musical activity. However, at the beginning of the XXI century. the contribution of this family to the development of the musical culture of the city was practically forgotten and not appreciated by anyone. The revival of unjustly forgotten names of this family, who, among others, were the builders of the musical and cultural foundation of Kharkiv in the last third of the XIX - first half of the XXth century is especially relevant in recent times, when Ukraine proves its political and cultural identity and independence against the aggressive Russian.

Analysis of sources and publications. The history of Kharkiv's musical culture, despite the ascetic research activities of a number of well-known and devoted scientists and music local historians of different times — T. Bakhmet, V. Berlin, V. Bogdanov and L. Bohdanova, Y. Vakhraniov, N. Zymohliad, O. Kononova, V. Kravets, M. Linnyk, L. Lysenko, Y. Loshkova, J. Myklashevskyi, V. Osadcha, O. Pinchuk, I. Polsky, I. Polska, A. Rumiantseva, H. Tiumeneva, O. Chepalova, Yu. Shcherbinin, Z. Yuferova and others, still has a lot of unexplored, but very bright pages. A number of names of musicians of the past, who made an invaluable contribution to the formation of professional music education and performance in Kharkiv, are now either half-forgotten or completely unknown not only to the broad musical and cultural community of Slobozhanshchina, but also to many experts in this field.

The purpose of the study is to fill one of the gaps in the study of the history of musical culture of Kharkiv by analyzing the activities of the Marechek family in the city. The scientific novelty of the study is the presentation and analysis of the activities in Kharkiv of these outstanding personalities who played a very significant role in various spheres of musical culture of the city for three quarters of a century, as well as an attempt to reconstruct their life and creative paths.

This goal led to the following research objectives:

  • to outline the spheres of musical activity in Kharkiv of three generations of the Marechek family;
  • on the basis of analyzed documents from Kharkiv periodicals, reference publications, individual scientific and Internet publications, as well as found archival materials to reconstruct the way of life and recreate creative biographies of numerous members of the Marechek family who were associated with music; 
  • to determine the role of the Marechek musical family in the musical and cultural life of the city in the last quarter of the XIX - first half of the XX century.

Methodological basis. In order to perform the tasks in the work were used:

  • historical approach, which allowed to analyze the life and work of the characters of this intelligence in the context of historical, cultural and political processes that took place at the time;
  • the method of biographical reconstruction, with the help of which the most significant facts in the life and creative biographies of the representatives of the Marechek family were revealed;
  • musical and local lore method, which contributed to the study of the problem in inseparable connection with the musical and cultural realities of Kharkiv in the late nineteenth - first half of the twentieth century.

Conclusions. The attempt to reconstruct fragments of biographies and cover the diverse musical activities of three generations of the Kharkiv Czech-Russian Marechek family confirms the importance of the contribution of many of its representatives to the musical life of one of the largest Ukrainian cultural centers of different nationalities, sincere and dedicated service to the development of various spheres of musical activity (military orchestral performance, music-trade and music-publishing sphere, music pedagogy, piano performance, organization of repair and production of piano, etc.).

The discovery of the fact of fruitful long-term work of Kharkiv resident E. Marechek as a professor at one of the oldest in Europe, the Prague Conservatory, as well as a number of mysterious and as yet unexplained facts from the biographies of this family provides prospects for further research.

Author Biography

Vasyl Shchepakin, Kharkiv State Academy of Culture

Doctor of Art Criticism, Associate Professor at the Theory and History of Music Department


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