This website is dedicated to the memory of Wadym Kipa, Concert Pianist, Composer, and Educator (1912-1968)

Biography of Wadym Kipa

Ukrainian pianist, composer, educator. Born 13 May (30 April old style) 1912 at Kuchmisterska Slobodka, a suburb of Kyiv, Ukraine; died 31 August 1968 in New York City.
He began his musical education in Kharkiv under Dombrovskaja and Vladyslav Topilin (piano), Semen Bohatyr'ov (composition), then continued his studies at the Kharkiv State Conservatory with Pavlo Lutsenko before transferring to the Kyiv State Conservatory to study with pianist Hryhorij Beklemishev. Upon graduation from the Kyiv State Conservatory in 1937 he joined its teaching staff and went on to complete its graduate program (aspirantura) in 1941.

In 1937, as one of ten finalists from among 150 participants in the first All-Soviet Piano Competition in Moscow, he earned the designation "Laureate of the Soviet Union"; the official citation was personally signed by, among others, S. Prokofiev, A. Aleksandrov, Aleksandr Gol'denvejser, and Konstantin Igumnov. Between 1937 and 1941 he toured the USSR with solo recitals and performed with the Moscow and Kyiv symphony orchestras. His appointment as professor in the piano faculty of the Kyiv State Conservatory in 1941 was short-lived due to the turmoils of World War II.
After the war, Kipa, now a displaced person, settled in the British zone of Germany, where from 1945 to 1951 he continued to give recitals and to teach. In 1951 he immigrated to the United States, took up residence in New
York City, established his own piano studio (1952), resumed his pedagogical activities, gave recitals and made solo appearances in the U.S. and Canada. During this period he also significantly intensified his activities as composer. His compositions, which date back to 1939, include primarily works for piano solo (including an album for youth) and for voice and piano (art songs); stylistically they can be said to develop from neoromanticism to impressionism and neoclassicism with tonal and rhythmic autonomy. Kipa's own virtuosity at the piano is perhaps best reflected in the brilliance of his piano music (e.g. "Variations Phantastique"[1957]). Critics noted his perfect technique and unique emotional power particularly as exhibited in the performance of works by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Albeniz, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Kosenko, Revutzky, and in the rendition of his own compositions.