Office of Advancement
Markiyan Melnychenko ’12E, ’14E (MM) – Creating World-Class Music, Worldwide
Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) is widely considered to be history’s greatest violin craftsman. Even after more than 250 years, what makes his instruments highly prized is still a matter of debate. Similar debate could be held on what it takes to be a world-class musician. Violinist Markiyan Melnychenko ’12E, ’14E (MM) believes that it takes 25 percent talent and 75 percent hard work, an idea he has seemingly subscribed to since he was a young boy.
Markiyan was born in Ukraine, but grew up in Melbourne, Australia, where he began studying the violin at the age of seven. A year after that, he was accepted by the Sydney Youth Orchestra. Since then, he has performed in 13 different countries and in venues such as Alice Tully Hall in New York, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Golden Hall of the Wiener Musikverein in Vienna.
After more than a decade, Markiyan’s commitment to his craft can be heard in every stroke of his bow. How much of it is raw talent—certainly more than 25 percent—is debatable, but there is no disputing the hard work. And for most of it, Markiyan’s teachers were right there with him. The amount of one-on-one time spent between teacher and student makes a teacher vital to a musician’s growth and development. So it is unsurprising that he chose to attend the Eastman School of Music because of one of its professors.
Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa, professor of violin at Eastman, used to travel to Australia once a year to give concerts and master classes. When Markiyan heard him play and saw him teach, he became determined to study with him. It was in Krysa’s studio that he learned—among many other lessons—how to be an artist.
“Artistry is a very subtle thing,” said Markiyan. “Very often people will learn how to play their instruments very well, but to actually be able to do it in a way that it says something, that really means something and affects people on a deeper level—this is what separates musicians at the highest level. There are so many faculty members at Eastman who possess that level of artistry. It’s inspiring.”
While emphatic about the importance of the faculty to the students, Markiyan also credits Eastman’s environment. Being a part of a strong community of talented individuals and having access to resources such as the unparalleled Sibley Music Library helped him prepare for his professional career. For Markiyan, like many others, the Eastman experience would not have been possible without scholarship support.
“I can honestly say I would not have gone to Eastman and I would not have gained this wonderful education without the help I received,” said Markiyan. “I am enormously grateful to those who have given both their time and resources to ensuring that this world-class institution can be accessible to people, no matter what their background or what their financial status is.”
Along his journey, Markiyan has come to understand that exceptional music isn’t the product of practicing in a room for 12 hours. A musician needs to go out into the world and experience life—good and bad. The Eastman experience was one that will influence him for a lifetime, and he plans to bring it back to his home country.
Markiyan aims to help elevate the level of music education and performance in Australia by sharing his skill and knowledge with its people. By supporting scholarships at Eastman, you help talented students like Markiyan become extraordinary professionals, who share their music and knowledge around the world.