Богдан Стефура Bogdan Stefura

* 1957  †︎ 2024

  • "...since childhood, I remember that my grandfather, not even my parents, because they were relatively young, but my grandfather, his friends and acquaintances came to visit him, and they literally talked about many things. And I remember such a small detail that ... I understand what they were talking about: they talked about some underground things, a little bit about the struggle, although there was no open struggle, but they discussed political things a lot. I know that in addition to Ukrainians, there were also local Poles and people who spoke Eastern Ukrainian, as I understand it, and there was an interesting detail: children could go in the room where they were talking, children could play, they were not asked to leave, that is... But the people they talked about were not referred to by their first and last names. They said... everyone had a pseudonym. They talked about them in a certain way."

  • "Christmas. The Soviet Union. A small town. Children are going caroling, running around caroling. And the teachers at school were specially sent to go around and keep track of who was caroling where and to report back. It happened that a bunch of children were caroling somewhere, we were running around caroling, and we saw a teacher coming, and some of them turned away from the others. Teachers have to formally fulfill their... decisions, but we do ours because we have a childhood. And, by the way, there was this, I later realized, later I realized that this... these people who were brought from the east, these communists, for example, their only way to survive in this city was not to hate, it meant to assimilate and find some kind of peace between the locals, and so I think that we don't know many things, but I have a hunch that many things were agreed upon. ...somehow it was quietly agreed between the representatives of one side and the other that "you don't touch us, we don't touch you." It's clear that later their children, say, my peers, and then they are fully assimilated, they are completely Ukrainians, patriots, it's already clear..."

  • "By the way, there is another interesting thing. In our cemetery, the city cemetery, there is still a monument to the soldiers of the Ukrainian Galician army from the early twentieth century. And, of course, when the Soviet government came, they... they had to destroy this monument, of course. I'm not saying that, but I came up with all this based on the things I saw, and I think they had an agreement with the locals who were supposed to do it: "Let's not move this monument, let's somehow come up with a way to prevent you from moving it." We made a good decision: we surrounded the monument with thuja and trees. It stands in the cemetery, with a large wall of thuja trees in the middle, a fairly large area. There are two small labyrinthine entrances to the middle of the room on the side, and for example, there is a tradition when in the fall everyone works at the graves of their relatives... during the day everyone went to work at their dead relatives, and at night my parents would follow the neighbors to this grave to do the same, it was always the same... but it was not visible from the outside. That is, for the local authorities that came, the Soviet authorities, there was no problem, but Ukrainians kept theirs. - It's incredible. - I think that there must have been many examples like this, various agreements that we do not know about and will not know about.

  • "...We knew that something would happen. We knew, for example, I knew from the results of these qualifiers, which I attended in other regions and in Lviv region... I knew that there would be some result and it would be a good result. But when it all comes together in a few days of the festival on different stages, it's like you've breathed in and can't breathe out. When there was such a flow of information... such an explosion of music, so diverse that you couldn't even imagine that it all existed in Ukraine. And it exploded. - Was this already an indication that the Soviet Union...what year was it? Was it after or before the proclamation? - It was still... - It was the day before, right? - Yes. '89. - '89! So it was still, in fact, the Soviet Union. - Yes. - How was it possible that such an explosion of Ukrainian music during the... - I'll tell you one thing right now. Maybe someday you will see a video from that festival somewhere. Vasyl Zhdankin is standing on the stage, as the winner of the Grand Prix, about to sing "Black Plowed Land Isolated" with his kobza, and he is looking into the audience, which is not a hall, it is a stadium. In the stadium, on the stands, there are red and blue Soviet flags, and in some places blue and yellow flags. Here. Zhdankin says: "There, behind us, on this tall building, there are guys with cameras filming. Guys, turn off the cameras." You know what those guys were like back then. For example, when I was sitting at the console, because I was in the organizing committee of this final concert, and when I had to bring call sign phonograms there, to get some of the radio people there, I had to show my bags to the police three times to get to my workplace at the stadium. They all searched the bags. And still they carried the blue and yellow flags. There was already this spirit of resistance there."

  • "I also have some very strong associations with the song 'Plyne kacha po Tysyne', my own personal ones, with the Piccardian tertia, of course... Just imagine: 2014, if I'm not mistaken, April-May, producers who organize concerts invite us to Donetsk-Luhansk. 2014, May. We went to this region. There are already green men with machine guns walking around Donetsk and Luhansk. And they told us: "Guys, we're going to do a concert, we're going to think about your safety, but we want you to be there for our people, to sing at this moment. We traveled there, we traveled a lot of cities, we traveled a lot at that moment. And the question was, are you willing to take that risk? And I'm very proud that the Piccardia Tertia agreed and I was with them. And I have this shot, I shot it right from behind the console: Donetsk Theater, the city center, the middle of the concert, the Piccardia Tertsia starts singing "Pline Kacha" and people stand up, as they always do at this song, and young people raise the flag, and green men walk on the street. If someone had betrayed us, I don't know what would have happened to us. But fortunately, all of us were there. And this is so painful for me. And I'm very proud that I was there with the Piccardia Tertia, and I respect them very much for deciding to do this, I respect these organizers very much. We had such moments."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Lviv, 03.11.2022

    duration: 02:05:10
    media recorded in project Voices of Ukraine
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

“If we weren’t in an embroidered shirt, we had it inside.”

Bohdan Stefura in his youth in an embroidered shirt
Bohdan Stefura in his youth in an embroidered shirt
photo: family archive

Bohdan Petrovych Stefura was born on March 9, 1957 in the town of Sudova Vyshnia in Lviv region. His father, Stefura Petro Andriiovych, worked as a motion picture operator in a local cinema. His mother, Maria Stepanivna Saik, was relocated with her family from the village Kalnykiv (now Poland) to Ukraine, to Sudova Vyshnia, in 1947 as a result of the Vistula operation. She worked as a librarian in the district library. While studying at the school, Bohdan Stefura created his own ensemble, which had great success. After school in 1974, he entered the Lviv Polytechnic Institute at the Faculty of Radio Electronics. He finished the 5th year at the Lviv Scientific Research Institute of Physics and Mechanics, where he was transferred to the specialty “engineer-designer of space technology” as a “promising student”. During his studies, he participated in student amateur activities. After graduating from the institute, he worked for one year as an engineer at the space engineering department and changed his profession. In the early 1980s, at the invitation of Ihor Bilozir, he began working as a sound engineer in the “Vatra” ensemble. After “Vatra”, he worked as a sound engineer with the rock band “Zhaivir” and the band “Medicus”. In 1988, as part of the amateur ensemble “Medicus”, he went abroad for the first time - to a music festival in Spain. In 1989, he became one of the organizers of the first Ukrainian festival “Chervona Ruta” as a sound engineer. In the early 90s, he worked as a sound engineer in the USA, and after 2 years he returned to Ukraine and founded his own recording studio “Melos” at Lviv Television. From that time until now, he works at the studio, where he records many Ukrainian performers and bands. He is a sound engineer of the band “Picardiiska Tertsia” and one of the organizers and permanent members of the jury of the regional selection festival “Chervona Ruta”. Merited Worker of Culture of Ukraine. Lives and works in Lviv.