Anatole Vakhnianyn

Anatole Vakhnianyn

Anatole Vakhnianyn ( _uk. Анатоль Вахнянин (August 19, 1841February 11, 1908), was a Ukrainian policial and cultural figure, composer, teacher and journalist.


Vakhnianyn was born near Przemyśl, today a part of Poland but at that time a part of the Austrian Empire. His father, Klym Vakhnianyn, and grandfather, Iakiv Vakhnyanin, were Greek-Catholic priests. His mother, Karolina von Wajtow, was the daughter of a Czech officer stationed at the Przymysl garrison. The languages spoken in his home were Polish and German.

After completing studies at Przemysl's gymnasium he studied theology in Lviv's seminary. During this time, he came to recognize the deeper "beauty of Ukrainian poetry and prose" and became heavily involved in Ukrainian literature and music. In 1863, he married Jozefa Wankowicz, a member of a Polish noble family. By 1865, Vakhnianyn organized the first Shevchenko concert in western Ukrainian lands. Moving to Vienna where he studied philosophy at the University of Vienna, he organized the first Ukrainian student organization there and became its first head.

Vakhnianyn returned to Lviv in 1868 and helped to organize the Prosvita Society, an organization dedicated to educational and cultural work among the Ukrainian people that helped lead to a national awakening among them, becoming its first head. He was also heavily involved in the creation of Ukrainian-language textbooks in the Austrian school system.

Between 1867 and 1870 Vakhnianyn edited the journal "Pravda", in 1870 he was a coeditor of the journal "Dilo", the main journal of the Ukrainophile movement in western Ukraine, and from 1870-1878 he edited Prosvita's journal.

In 1890 he helped initiate the "New Era" movement, dedicated to forging a rapproachment between Poles and Ukrainians in east Galicia. After most of the other Ukrainophiles broke with the Poles in 1894, Vakhnianyn continued to seek compromise with them, and was one of the founders of the "Catholic Ruthenian-Social Union", based on the all-Austrian Christian social movement.

Between 1894 and 1900 Vakhnianyn was a member of the Austrian parliament. In 1903 he founded the Higher Musical Institute in Lviv, currently the Lviv Conservatory, and became its first director. Under the penname Natal Vakhnianyn, he composed the opera "Kupala" (written between 1870-1892, premiered at the Kharkiv Opera House in 1929), music to Taras Shevchenko's drama Nazar Stodolia, and various literary works.

Anatole Vakhnianyn died February 11, 1908 and was buried in Lychakivskiy Cemetery. Those eulogizing him after his death included Ivan Franko and Mykola Lysenko.


* In Ukrainian: Батенко Т. Анатоль Вахнянин: біля джерел національного відродження" (Львів, 1998).Batenko, T. (1998). "Anatole Vakhnianyn: Among the Wells of National Rebirth", Lviv.

* John-Paul Himka (1999) "Religion and Nationality in Western Ukraine", McGill-Queen's Press. ISBN 0773518126.

*Kachkan, Volodimir. [ АНАТОЛЬ ВАХНЯНИН І ЙОГО РОЛЬ У РОЗВИТКУ КУЛЬТУРИ ЗАХІДНОЇ УКРАЇНИ] (Ukrainian), ("Anatole Vakhnianyn and his role in the flowring of western Ukrainian culture"). Rylsky Institute of Art Studies, Folklore, and Ethnology, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine.

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