Lubomyr Melnyk


Lubomyr Melnyk is a Ukrainian pianist and composer. Through his pioneering work in the 1970’s, he developed the technique of “Continuous Music” for piano, and with it a stunning new language for the instrument, based on its actual sound. By way of this new technique, he set several world- records on the piano, notably in Sweden in 1985 where he was recorded playing at over 19.5 notes per second – a speed that has never yet been matched, making him the fastest pianist in the world. Since the mid-1970’s, he has performed concerts with his music world-wide as well as radio recordings. Most of his works are for piano solo and duo, although there exist several works for orchestra and various ensembles. While his revolutionary piano playing was mostly ignored by the classical institutions in its early years, his music is gaining an ever-wider international awareness.

Lubomyr Melnyk

He has been called ”the Prophet of the Piano” - this man who was born in a Ukrainian refugee camp and who, at the young age of 23, completely revolution- ized the world of the piano for all time to come. No one before him had touched the piano in this way, no one before him had ever lived the piano in this total, all-encompassing way, no one before him had loved the piano so much, with every breath of his life, with every atom of his being. Truly, Lubomyr Melnyk is the mar- velous voice of the piano!
In the early 1970’s, Lubomyr travelled to Paris to embrace the Bohemian life of an artist. Trained as a classical diploma pianist, he had already discovered the music of Terry Riley and the Minimal-ists of his time, and took their ideas of ambient flow, combined them with his classical training to create a totally unique and new “language” for the piano.
His complete devotion to the piano and to the art of playing it, would eventually lead him into new dimensions of piano technique involving many elements of Eastern thinking and even the Martial Arts, which he combined together with the classical training. The result was a stunning new ability within the pianist to execute complex and thoroughly “mind-blowing” note- combinations, not only with ease, but at speeds that no pianist before him had ever dreamed were even possible! Lubomyr is, after all, the fastest pianist in history, able to maintain speeds of over 19 notes per second in each hand – a feat which allows him to create the wonderful almost pastel-like shimmering harmonies that flow from the piano as he plays.
Still, it is nevertheless the sound of the piano that is so important in his music! The Continuous Technique simply releases the amazing natural sound of the piano, the true voice of the piano singing in its fullest glory! As Edward Bond wrote in the Kingston Whig-Standard in 1976: “...the piano was always meant to sound this way!”
There are so many layers to the music he creates, an entire landscape of natural powers and visions: there are great washes of sea-like waves, there is the gentle patter of rainfall, there are song-like melodies that hang weightless in the air, and tumultuous harmonies that shimmer like a halo around those melodies. All of this surrounded by a dimensionless river of sound that seems to flow from eternity! Words cannot describe this music fully. Our only path is to listen, to enjoy and to let ourselves be carried weightless on this beautiful river into the great realm of imagination!
We can only be grateful that after 300 years since its birth, the piano has found its true champion and greatest lover. It is Lubomyr who released the hidden choir that lives in every piano, and whose gentle touch to the keys has shaped the beautiful voice of his love into singing tones. It is he who brought the glorious sound of this glorious instrument out from the shadows, where it had been hidden for over 300 years, up into the sunlight for the entire world to see and hear!
This solitary pianist, living like a hermit outside the spotlight of the concert stage, has given his entire life to the piano, in a union of total love and passion. Through him, the world has finally discovered the beautiful sound of this great instrument. Lubomyr is no ordinary pianist, nor is he an “entertainer” - he is a prophet who showed us the way to love and appreciate the piano. He is the one who showed us what this instrument can do, he is the one who united every fibre of his being to the body of the piano in order to create this magnificent and beautiful world of Continuous Music!
Lubomyr Melnyk walks with one foot in the history of the piano, and the other foot in the mystical. Like a prophet, he is the selfless link between two worlds!

Charles Bettle,
a dear friend and devoted fan of Lubomyr Melnyk, 2016


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