Alexander Zhurbin

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Alexander Zhurbin
Alexander Zhurbin.jpg
Background information
Birth name Alexander Borisovich Gandelsman (Александр Борисович Ганделсман)
Born 1945 (age 70–71)
Origin Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Genres Classical, film music, Russian music
Occupation(s) Musician, arranger, film composer, producer
Instruments Piano, vocal
Years active 1950–present
Labels AZ Records, Melodiya
Associated acts Ljova and the Kontraband, Joseph Kobzon, Nikolay Baskov, Dmitri Shostakovich, Joseph Brodsky, Vladimir Nabokov

Alexander Zhurbin (Алекса́ндр Бори́сович Журби́н; Tashkent 7 August 1945) is a Russian composer whose music is widely performed all over the former Soviet Union, East Europe and West Europe, Canada and the United States. He composes in a wide range of forms and styles: from symphonies to pop music, from chamber music to "new wave," from operas and ballets to movie scores and music for the theater. The list of his works is very long (more than 150 titles).

Before 1990 the composer lived in the former Soviet Union, where he was one of the biggest stars in the Arts. His tunes were hummed practically by everyone, and his face was familiar to everybody, because he was a frequent participant in various TV-programs. Meanwhile his symphony and chamber music was performed in many major concert halls throughout the country.

He was born in Tashkent, where he graduated Special Music School in 1963. Later he graduated Tashkent Conservatory as a cellist, and Gnessin Music College as a composer (1969). His teachers there were professors Nikolai Peiko and Aram Khachaturian. After that, he did his postgraduate studies as a musicologist in Leningrad, where completed his PhD dissertation (1973) on Gustav Mahler's Symphonies. His teachers there were Profs. Sergey Slonimsky, Yuzef Kon, and he also had frequent consultations with Dmitri Shostakovich.

His first big success came in 1975 with his rock-opera "Orpheus and Eurydice". This work was the first of its kind in the Soviet Union and was a big sensation . It was more than two thousand performances in a row, and more than two millions copies of the record were sold. For this opera, Mr. Zhurbin won many international awards, including "Star of the Year" in Great Britain.

He has scored more than 50 feature movies, some of them well-known internationally.

His 6 operas and 3 ballets were performed in the best National Theaters of Russia (Leningrad National Opera, Moscow Chamber Opera).

All of his sixteen musicals are still playing in the former Soviet Union, and some of them have had more than 2.000 performances.

Since 1990 the composer and his family live in New York City. He served as a composer-in residence at the 92 "Y" and a professor at Touro college. In 1992 he founded the Russian-American Theater "Wandering Stars", which became a major cultural force inside the Russian-speaking community. To the 1998 this Theater produced nine big theatrical productions, six of them with the music of Alexander Zhurbin.

His musical "How It Was Done in Odessa" was a critical success at the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia. It had an eight-week "sold-out" run with a very good reviews. (1991)

Among his compositions written in the USA are Cello Concerto, Violin Concerto, Symphony # 3, an opera

"Good Health, Your majesty", a cantata "A Part of Speech" with lyrics by Joseph Brodsky, as well as songs, jingles and commercials.

In 1996 he had a very successful "Evening of Zhurbin's Music" in Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) performed by Kristjan Järvi and the Absolute Ensemble. His latest theater works are musicals "Shalom, America" (after Sholom Asch), "Camera Obscura" (after Vladimir Nabokov), "Wandering Stars" (after Sholom Aleikhem).

As a performer of cabaret-style performer Alexander Zhurbin is widely popular among Russians around the world. His brilliant piano performance and husky voice in conjunction with sophisticated and charming Russian-French melodies now won him love and recognition among Americans.

Presently he is predominantly living in Moscow, and traveling all over the world. He has written several major theatrical works: "Mousetrap" (musical after Agatha Christie), Humiliated and Insulted (opera after Dostoevsky) "The Seagull"– operetta after Anton Chekhov and many others. All of them were produced in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and another cities. Also he scored major mini-serial "Moscow Saga" – after novel by Vasily Aksyonov

Currently, the composer is working on major theatrical and movie projects.

His wife – Irina Ginzburg – is a poet, translator and writer. His son – Lev Zhurbin – is a composer and performer, living in New York.


List of Works[edit]

Symphonic and Chamber Works[edit]

Op. 1 – Quartet No. 1

Op. 2 – “Cactus” – a folk tale for low voice and piano, text by V. Sosnora

Op. 3 – Three Romances for medium voice & piano

Op. 4 – “Fall of 1942” for voice and piano, text by A. Faynberg

Op. 5 – Romance “Music” for high voice and piano, text by William Shakespeare.

Op. 6 – Suite for piano.

Op. 7 – Suite for flute, oboe, clarinet & bassoon.

Op. 8 – Sonatina for viola and piano

Op. 9 – Cantata “Russia, year 1111” for choir, soloists and orchestra, text by V. Sosnora

Op. 10 – Song Cycle “Seven Soldier Songs” for baritone and piano.

Op. 11 – Concertino for Oboe and String Orchestra

Op. 12 -- “Children’s Games”, suite for string orchestra.

Op. 13 – “In Memory of the Heroes”, fantasy for large orchestra.

Op. 14 – “Chorale and Allegro” for bayan

Op. 15 – “Wooden Fair” – Romance for high voice, text by Rudolf Barinsky

Op. 16 – Song Cycle “A Poet’s Love”, based on poems of R. M. Rilke, translated by T. Silman

Op. 17 – “Improvisation and Toccata” for violin and piano

Op. 18 – Sonata for piano

Op. 19 – “Polyphonic Suite” for three flutes

Op. 20 – Quartet No. 2

Op. 21 – “Three Picasso Drawings”

Op. 22 – “Prelude, Gavotte and Scherzo” for bayan/accordion

Op. 23 – “Poeme” for French Horn and piano

Op. 24 – “Polyphonic Partita” for string Quartet

Op. 25 – “The Ratcatcher” Cantata, poems by M. Tsvetaeva

Op. 26 – Symphony No. 1 “Sinfonia Concertante” (four movements)

Op. 27 -- “Toccata” for bayan

Op. 28 – Sonata for Double Bass and Piano

Op. 29 – “Meeting with Lenin” – Symphonic-Choral Poem

Op. 30 – Three Sonatas for Bayan

Op. 31 – Symphony No. 2 “Sinfonia Giocosa”

Op. 32 – Concerto for Viola and Orchestra

Op. 33 – Songs for Children, texts by V. Suslov & M.Raykin

Op. 34 – Song Cycle “From German Folk Poetry”

Op. 35 – “The People’s Earth” – oratorio

Op. 36 – “Winter Songs” – six duets for mezzo-soprano and baritone, texts by Russian poets

Op. 37 – “Fantasy and Fugue” for bayan

Op. 38 – “Two Friends” – Poem for Orchestra and Vocalists, texts by A. Tvardovsky and R. Gamzatov

Op. 39 – “Velimir” – four songs on poems by V. Khlebnikov

Op. 40 – “Five Poems by Konstantin Batyushkov” – for mezzo-soprano, flute, horn and harp.

Op. 41 – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (3

Op. 42 – Sonata for Cello and Piano

Op. 43 – Piano Quintet

Op. 44 – “Mashkerad”, for choir a capella, texts by A. Sumarokov

Op. 45 – “Marina” – seven songs, poems by M. Tsvetaeva

Op. 46 – “Dithyramb” for cello and chamber ensemble

OP. 47 – “Three Muses” – suite for viola, double–bass and harpsichord

Op. 48 – Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

Op. 49 – Symphony No. 3 “Sinfonia Romantica”

Op. 50 – “Part of Speech” – Cantata for Choir, poems by J. Brodsky in English & Russian

Op. 51 – “Three Madrigals”, poems by W. Shakespeare

Op. 52 – Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Op. 53/1 “Musica Drammatica” for string orchestra.

Op. 54/20 – “Musica Piccola” for string orchestra

Op. 55/24 – “Musica polyphonica” for string orchestra

Op. 56 – “The Poet” – song cycle, poems by M. Tsvetaeva

Op. 57 – Symphony No. 4, “Sinfonia Tragica” / “City of The Plague” for soloists, mixed choir and large orchestra, in nine movements.

Op. 58 – Symphony No. 5 “Sinfonia bizzarra” – for large orchestra and four soloists (violin, viola, cello and piano), in fifteen movements.

Compositions for Musical Theater[edit]

Thea-opus 1 – “Let’s play Prince and The Pauper!” – musical for children and adults based on the novel by Mark Twain (Libretto by L. Losev with Y. Mikhailov)

Thea-opus 2 – “The Twins from Thebes” (“Someone named Heracles”) – Libretto by L. Losev with Y. Mikhailov)

Thea-opus 3 – “Orpheus & Eurydice” – rock opera based on a play by Y. Dimitrin

Thea-opus 4 – “Broken Mirror, or a New Pauper’s Opera” – opera based on themes of “Threepenny Opera” by B. Brecht. Libretto by V. Verbin

Thea-opus 5 – “Three Brothers” – a Russian comedy based on folk tales. Libretto by V. Sinakevich, V. Skvirskiy, lyrics by V. Uflyand

Thea-opus 6 – “A Cunning Girl in Love” – musical based on a play by Lope de Vega. Libretto by A. Zhurbin and M. Levshin

Thea-opus 7 –– “The Moon and the Detective” – opera based on stories by V. Lipatov. Libretto by Y. Dimitrin

Thea-opus 8 – “Zsuzsa from Budapest” – comedy based on a play by L. Zhukhovitsky, libretto by L. Zhukhovitsky and R. Rozhdestvensky, lyrics by R. Rozhdestvensky

Thea-opus 9 – “Penelope” – musical based on a play by B. Ratser and V. Konstatnitov. Libretto by B. Ratser and V. Konstatnitov.

Thea-opus 10 – “The Red Bird” – ballet for children. Libretto by M. Azov and V. Tixvinsky.

Thea-opus 11 – “Captain Fracas” (Le Captaine Fracasse)– musical based on a novel by T. Gautier, libretto by Y. Golyakov

Thea-opus 12 – “The Trap” – ballet based on “Threepenny Opera” by B. Brecht. Libretto by I. Gaft

Thea-opus 13 – “Agent 00” – musical based on a play by G. Borovik, libretto by G. Borovik

Thea-opus 14 – “Wedding in Old Age” – musical based on the play “Retro” by A. Galin, libretto by G. Fere

Thea-opus 15 – “The Frump” – musical based on a play by E. Braginsky and E. Ryazanov. Libretto by Y. Ryashentsev

Thea-opus 16 – “Impatience” – opera based on a novel by Y. Trifonov. Libretto by Y. Trifonov and O. Trifonov-Miroshnichenko

Thea-opus 17 – “Spell out the sum in words” – musical based on stories by O’Henry – Libretto by G. Sapgir and L. Khait

Thea-opus 18 – “The Marriage” – ballet based on the play by N. Gogol. Libretto by M. Bergtolz.

Thea-opus 19 – “The Drayman and the King / Sunset”) – musical on the play by Isaac Babel. Libretto by A. Eppel.

Thea-opus 20 – “Naples Story” – musical based on Lope De Vega’s “The Dog in the Manger”. Libretto by P. Gradov

Thea-opus 21 – “Fiorenza” – musical tragedy based on a novel by Thomas Mann. Libretto by P. Grushko

Thea-opus 22 – “An Unknown Love of Napoleon” – musical based on the play “The Man of Destiny” by Bernard Shaw. Libretto by G. Fere

Thea-opus 23 – “The Glass of Water” -- musical based on a play by Eugène Scribe. Libretto by B. Ratser and V. Konstantinov

Thea-opus 24 – “Animal Farm” – musical based on a story by George Orwell, libretto by S. Task

Thea-opus 25 “Good Health to the Tsar!” – operetta for children based on Russian Fairy Tales. English Libretto by E. Rael

Thea-opus 26 – “The Nervous Splendor” – musical after a book by Frederic Morton. Libretto by B. Liss

Thea-opus 27 – “Shalom, America!” – musical based on the novel “Uncle Moses” by Sh. Ash. Libretto by B. Ratser

Thea-opus 28 – “The Lips (Camera Obscura)” – musical based on the novel by V. Nabokov. Libretto by V. Mishin

Thea-opus 29 – “Wandering Stars” – musical based on the novel by Sholom Aleichem. Libretto by B. Ratser

Thea-opus 30. “The Farewell Concerto” – musical poem for theater – in memoriam V. Kozin, Libretto by M. Bartenyev and E. Isaeva

Thea-opus 31 – “The Mouse Trap” – musical detective tale based on the play by Agatha Christie. Libretto by O. Ivanova and lyrics by L. Gulyakin

Thea-opus 32 – “The Insulted and Humiliated” – musical based on a novel by F. Dostoyevsky. Libretto by V. Verbin

Thea-opus 33 – “A New Teacher for Fools” – musical based on the play “Fools” by Neil Simon. Libretto by S. Task

Thea-opus 34 -- “Eight Women” – musical detective story based on a play by Robert Thomas. Libretto by E. Isaeva

Thea-opus 35 – “The King and His Three Daughters” – rock opera based on the play “King Lear” by Shakespeare. Libretto by V. Prokhanov

Thea-opus 36 – “The Dybbuk” – musical based on a play by S. An-Sky. Libretto by V. Starchevsky

Thea-opus 37 – “Doctor Zhivago” – musical based on the novel by B. Pasternak. Libretto by M. Bartenyev

Thea-opus 38 – “A Purely Russian Murder” – musical detective tale based on a play by V. Krasnogorov. Libretto by V. Krasnogorov

Thea-opus 39 – “Dead Souls” – musical poem based on the poem by N. Gogol. Libretto by O. Ivanova and A. Butvilovsky, with A. Zhurbin Lyrics by S. Plotov

Thea-opus 40 – “The Seagull” – musical based on a play by A. Chekhov. Libretto by V. Zhuk

Thea-opus 41 -- “French Marriage” – Libretto by G. Spektor and G. Gelovani

Thea-opus 42 – “Ceasar and Cleopatra” – musical based on a play by Bernard Shaw. Libretto by Zh. Zherder with A. Zhurbin

Thea-opus 43 – “Albert & Giselle” – Libretto by Y. Ryashentsev, G. Pollidi and A. Zhurbin. Lyrics by Y. Ryashentsev

Thea-opus 44 – “The Waiting List (A Man and a Woman)” – Libretto by A. Mardan. Lyrics by A. Mardan and S. Plotov.

Thea-opus 45 – “The Petty Demon” ¬– opera based on the novel by F. Sologub and a play by V. Semenovsky. Libretto by V. Semenovsky and A. Zhurbin

Thea-opus 46 – “The Minor” – musical based on a play by D. Fonvizin. Libretto by L. Yakovlev

Thea-opus 47 – “Anna K” – opera based on the novel “Anna Karenina” by L. Tolstoy. Libretto by A. Rodionova, S. Plotov and A. Zhurbin

Thea-opus 48 – “The Nutcracker and The Mouse King” – musical on the fable by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Libretto by Zh. Zherder with A. Zhurbin

Thea-opus 49 – “The Metamorphosis of Love”. Three one-act operas: “Faithfullness”, “Adultery” and “Erotica”. Libretto by A. Levshin and A. Zhurbin based on historical themes.

External links[edit]