Victor Markiw began taking piano lessons at age eight and gave his first public recital—performing works by Bach, Chopin and Mozart—when he was nine.
But he spent his high school years on the football and baseball fields at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge and didn’t return to music until college.
Today, music is his job, his passion and his means of communication.
This fall, Markiw will embark on a new adventure: a semester in the Ukraine as a 2013 Fulbright Scholar. He will study Ukrainian composers, teach music theory and lecture on American music. The Ukrainian Fulbright office is working on securing a host institution.
“Music means everything to me,” said Markiw, a full-time lecturer in music at the University of New Haven. “I can’t imagine going through life without being involved in some sort of music- making and study. Sharing ideas with others makes it that much more rewarding.”
Markiw, a graduate of the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, earned an MFA degree from the State University of New York at Purchase and a DMA degree in music from the University of Connecticut.
He has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad and is a sought-after recitalist and chamber musician who frequently performs and lectures at national venues. He has performed on Voice of America, appeared on television and served as resident pianist for the music therapy program at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn.
Markiw said he is eager to educate Ukrainian students about American folk music as well as life and attitudes in America.
“I look forward to learning more about Ukrainian culture, music and life and collecting important materials to further my research and publish a second book on the renowned Ukrainian composer, Myroslav Skoryk,” Markiw said.
His first book, The Life and Solo Piano Works of the Ukrainian Composer Myroslav Skoryk, explores the contemporary composer whose work contains stylistic traits from Ukrainian folk traditions.
The Fulbright experience will also serve as a sort of “homecoming” for Markiw, whose parents immigrated to the United States from the Ukraine after World War II.
When he isn’t interacting with his students, preparing lectures, grading papers, working on grant proposals, or coordinating concerts, one can find Markiw hard at work learning new repertoire for his third CD project. In 2010, he released an album with soprano Jennifer Litwin titled “The Litwin-Markiw Duo.” In February, his solo album containing works by Skoryk, Villa-lobos and Mompou was released.
“My first year at UNH teaching full time coincided with writing and defending my dissertation,” he recalled. “To top it off, I also performed solo piano recitals. I often joke to family, friends and colleagues that the experience was a trilogy of terror.”