Ivan Kuzminskyi

OCTOBER 5, 1983 — MAY 17, 2023


A russian sniper’s bullet killed Ivan in the front lines. He was a scholar, musician, researcher of old Ukrainian music, director of «Malyatko TV» channel.

Everything that made it to the air came through Ivan’s trained hands and ears. He made animated music videos for screen broadcasts. He taught how to dub the cartoons, he taught how to embody the character, how to find the right articulation. Millions of Ukrainian kids all over the world loved to watch this channel.

Ivan was born in Berdychiv. He was keen on music from an early age. He graduated from Berdychiv music school. He later studied in the Zhytomyr Music College of V.S. Kosenko (now — Zhytomyr Professional College of Music named after V.S. Kosenko), he was trained in the choir conductor field. His higher education was received in the Kyiv State Conservatory (now — Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music).

Ivan was an associate professor in his alma mater, he gave lectures across entire Ukraine. He obtained a PhD, taught in the university, and planned to become DSc. He was the author of multiple scientific articles. Even at the front, in the war zone, he used to join thematic conferences online.

In 2019, with Ivan’s undivided involvement, a landmark event for the establishment of Ukrainian historical musicology took place: at the exposition of the National Museum of History of Ukraine, he unveiled a previously unknown XVIII-century manuscript of music theory treatise.

His friends say that Ivan was sincere and fully committed to his craft. He held lectures in the literal underground, he shared posts concerning the church organ, had pen pals on the subject of Jesuit music culture, and was more than happy to exchange scientific materials with his colleagues.

Ivan went to war from the first days of the full-scale invasion. He felt he had to be at the front: this was clear from the videos that he posted. The music scholar went through the most intense locations, including Bakhmut. He carried out the challenging tasks as a scout of the 67th Separate Mechanized Brigade.

The life of the defender and scholar was cut short not far from the village Dibrova in Luhansk Oblast. Back home, his mother, wife, daughter and son were waiting for him.