Library Receives Historic Music Collection from Skvir Family

The St. Vladimir's Seminary Library recently received the Skvir–Buketoff Music Collection from The Very Rev. Daniel (SVOTS '69) and Tamara Skvir, rector and choir director of the Holy Transfiguration Chapel in Princeton, NJ (Orthodox Church in America). The Collection consisted of four boxes of Eastern Orthodox liturgical music published from the year 1819 up through 1950, and included several unique and rare scores.

The bulk of the Buketoff–Turkevich–Skvir collection of Russian Orthodox liturgical music belonged to The Very Rev. Constantine Buketoff, who came to the United States in the first decade of the 20th century as a church musician, and served as a rector of several parishes in the vicinity of New York City. It includes hundreds of pre–Revolutionary individual sheet music scores as well as anthologies. Dozens of Russian composers are represented, prolific composer, conductor and teacher Pavel Chesnokoff prominent among them.

The Buketoff portion of the collection was later passed on to Fr. Constantine's son, Igor Buketoff, a renowned symphony conductor and composer known for his unique rendition of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture that incorporates the choral component, and for his orchestration of Rachmaninoff's unfinished opera, Mona Vanna.

Subsequently, Fr. Daniel and Tamara Turkevich Skvir (Fr. Constantine's granddaughter) inherited the collection and supplemented it with the music collection of The Very Rev. John Skvir, who reposed in 1987 and served as the rector of Ss. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church in Jersey City for 35 years. The entire collection was then donated to the Father Georges Florovsky Library by the combined families.

"In addition to making this generous donation, the Skvirs also volunteered a significant amount of time in 2012 at St. Vladimir's to organize the Collection and create a list of its contents," noted Librarian Eleana Silk. "We are grateful to Fr. Daniel and Matushka Tassie for their efforts to make this Collection more accessible to our patrons. Many thanks! Please contact the librarians with any questions."

View the complete list of contents for the Skvir–Buketoff Collection.

For further information, mail Eleana Silk at es@svots.edu

Read about other recent library donations: