Mykhailo Pavlovych Teliha (1898 -21/II/1942)
Mykhailo Teliha was an active community leader and distinguished musician. He was born in the Akhtyrka Stanitsa in the Kuban. It is here that he first began to be interested in playing the bandura and began to study it in 1913. He trained initially as a forester and engineer and later he competed studies as a doctor.
He was an active participant in the struggle for Ukrainian liberation where he served as a field surgeon. He was also part of the personal staff of Symon Petlura.
In 1921 he was interned in a camp in Kalisz, Poland where he organized and ethnographic ensemble and taught bandura. When it became known that negotiations had been initiated for the repatriation of those that were interned to Soviet Ukraine, he moved to Prague.
In Czechoslovakia he lived in Prague and Podebrady from 1923 to 1929. There he completed his studies in Medicine at the Podebrady Academy. Here he met and married the future Ukrainian poetess Olena Teliha and continued his involvement with the bandura being active in the formation of a bandura school and a second Bandurist Capella in Prague.
In 1926 he was the editor of a collection of pieces for the bandura published in Prague under the auspices of the "Kobzar" society. The book contained 12 pieces of his pieces printed on 24 pages. It was the first collection of bandura music ever published.
In 1929 he and his wife moved to Poland, where he lived in Warsaw until 1939. He performed as a professional musician throughout Western Ukraine during this time and recorded 6 works on 3 records for a Polish record company - "Syrena Electro". In 1939 he moved to Krakow.
His repertoire on the records included:
1) Zaporozhian march
2) Hej vydno selo
3) Oj lita orel
4) Oj ne khody Hrytsiu
6) Vstaye khmara
7) Oj na hori vohon' horyt'
In 1941 during the German occupation of Ukraine he returned with his wife to Kiev to participate in the rebuilding of Ukrainian culture in the capital.
Teliha was arrested together with his wife 9th February 1942 by the Gestapo. He was not involved in the publication of anti-German materials in the newspaper "Ukrayinske Slovo" and was offered his release. He chose not to leave his wife's side and was shot a few days later on the 21st (23rd) February in Babiy Yar, Kiev.