Pavel Semanivsky, a flutist, is director of the university and conservatory orchestras at the University of Montemorelos in Mexico, conducting posts he has held since 2006. He also serves as professor of woodwinds.
Pavel was born in Donetsk, Ukraine, one of two sons born to Vasil Semanivsky and Neliya Semanivska. Since the father was a minister, the family moved often during Pavel's childhood.
The family was musical, both parents performing often as versatile amateur musicians. His father sang and played the string bass, guitar, trumpet, and violin; his mother sang in the choir and played the harmonium in church.
Because religious freedoms were limited in the Soviet Union, they did not have the option of inviting people to church. Because of this, they often played in the homes of believers as well as in the church. His father would sing while his mother played the harmonium; his brother, Alexander, played the accordion; and Pavel, when very young, played a small drum.
Both sons studied in a music conservatory, Alexander learning to play all the wind instruments. Pavel began flute at age eight and also studied some piano at the conservatory while attending primary and secondary school, which he completed in 1988, at age sixteen.
From 1988 to 1992 he studied at and graduated from college in the city of Donetsk, majoring in flute and orchestral conducting. He then pursued a five-year postgraduate program of study, finishing it in four years, graduating in 1996 with the same specialties and the title of professor, or teacher. Because it is a five-year postgraduate course, UM accepted it as equivalent to a doctorate and has given him a full professorship at the university.
Following graduation from the conservatory, Semanivsky was professor of flute and wind instruments and director of the orchestra in the city of Ilovaysk. Beginning in 1998 he served as Director of Music in the East Ukraine Conference of SDA, directed chamber and symphonic orchestras, and sang with the theatrical choir in the State Academy in Donetsk. In 1999, he organized a musical group that participated in a choir festival in the city of Darmstadt, Germany, and won second place.
Beginning in 2001 he pastored the Adventist church in the city of Donetsk and also worked as woodwind teacher and band director in the School of Arte in Ilovaysk and Donetsk.
Since coming to UM in 2006, Semanivsky performs frequently as a flute soloist and with smaller woodwind groups. He also performs as a vocal soloist and sings in quartets and the university choir.
Pavel is married to Natalia Semanivska, an accomplished violinist and teacher at UM who is also from the Ukraine. They frequently play together as soloists. They had two children, Eugenia and Elena, when they left the Ukraine, and have had a son, Genrikh, since arriving at UM.
Source: Information provided by Ruth Ann Wade, based on an interview with Pavel, 2008.