Jurij Fedynskyj - researcher and practitioner of the kobzar and torbanist traditions, instrument maker, teacher
Jurij Fedynskyj is a "Ukrainian-American Ukrainian" or "re-patriot". Originally born in Indianapolis, USA, he grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. He studied classical piano with Henry Doskey at ECU as a piano performance major. He studied the modern bandura with Julian Kytasty at "Kobzarska Sich" UBC camp for many years. Later he performed with the Ukrainian Bandura Chorus in Detroit, and created the Experimental Bandura Trio in New York City with Julian and Michael Andrec. Jurij's post graduate studies were conducted at the L'viv and Kyiv conservatories, studying the modern bandura with Vasyl Herasymenko, and Roman Hrynkiv, composition with Myroslav Skoryk and Marina Lyatoshynska and classical voice. Afterwards, he joined the Kyiv Kobzar Guild, studying instrument making, traditional kobzar performance and philosophy. Jurij initially worked in Ukraine with Haydamaky, playing the electric guitar, but later formed Karpatiyany with Valeriy Hladunets, Serhiy Okhimchuk, and Taras Kompanichenko, Yuriy Zakharchuk, and Vasyl Palahniuk. Then along with Taras Kompanichenko, Danylo Pertsov, Severin Danyleyko, and Serhiy Okhrimchuk he founded Khoreya Kozatska. After ten years in Kyiv, Jurij relocated to Kryachkivka, in the Poltava region, to study folk singing with Drevo, and to create Kobzarskiy Tabir, a center for instrument making and kobzar education. Eventually the festival Drevo Rodu Kobzarskoho was created, an annual ethno festival centered on presenting the kobzar tradition, in context to related genres. Along with Oleh and Oksana But, and Jurij's wife Mariya, Krachkyvka was created, championing Eastern Ukrainian singing and dances. The Poltava Kobzar Guild was founded in 2020, with Kryachkivka at its center. Presently Jurij is preparing a new ensemble, presenting the Kozak Renaissance and Baroque early music, in a European context. In 2017 Jurij began to create worldwide continental "kobzar" tours, starting with North America, Europe and Ukraine.