|George de Godzinsky
George de Godzinsky playing the piano at Yle
studios, circa 1935
5 April 1914|
||23 May 1994
George de Godzinsky (5 April 1914, Saint Peterburg, Russia — 23 May 1994, Helsinki, Finland) was a Russian-Finnish composer and conductor. Godzinsky is known from his Schlager music although he composed music for movies and operettas.
De Godzinsky was born to a multicultural family; his father had Polish, Czech, Georgian and Romanian ancestry; on his mothers side de Godzinsky was of Swiss and Dutch descent.
George de Godzinsky's father was a Saint Petersburg-based civil servant and businessman who had strong ties to customers in Finland. During the Russian revolution the family escaped to Finland.
Between 1930 and 1937 de Godzinsky attended the Helsinki Conservatory. In 1935–36 de Godzinsky joined, as the lead pianist, the legendary opera singer Feodor Chaliapin on his renowned Far East tour. De Godzinsky performed with Chaliapin in fiftyseven concerts in Manchuria, China and Japan. In 1939 Godzinsky embarked on a career that would make him the chief conductor at a number of prominent Scandinavian theaters such as the Swedish Theatre, Helsinki, the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm, and the Gothenburg City Theatre, Gothenburg. The United States, Bergen, Norway, Warsaw, Poland and Paris, France tours of the Finnish National Opera, Helsinki, pursued between 1959 and 1965 proved to be some of de Godzinskys career highlights. Moreover, between 1961 and 1965, he conducted the Finnish entries for the Eurovision Song Contest.