Lev Zhurbin

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Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin
Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin performing in Moscow, 2005
Background information
Birth name Lev Aleksandrovich Zhurbin (Лев Александрович Журбин)
Also known as Ljova
Born (1978-08-18) August 18, 1978 (age 37)
Origin Moscow, Russia
Genres Classical, folk, chamber jazz, Film Music, Gypsy, World
Occupation(s) Musician, arranger, film composer, producer
Instruments Viola, famiola, fadolin
Years active 1990–present
Labels Kapustnik, Sony Classical
Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch Records, Fat Cat
Associated acts Ljova and the Kontraband, Romashka, Yo-Yo Ma, Kronos Quartet, Osvaldo Golijov, Jay-Z, Bond, Nina Nastasia, Dawn Upshaw, Alondra de la Parra, Brooklyn Rider, Kayhan Kalhor, Guy Sigsworth, Mary Wilson, Alan Pierson, Brooklyn Philharmonic

Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin (born August 18, 1978 in Moscow, Russia) is a composer, violist, and arranger. Ljova is the author of over 70 original compositions for classical, jazz, and folk music ensembles. He has also contributed musical scores to numerous short and feature films. Among recent projects is a commission from the City of London Sinfonia, a string quartet for Brooklyn Rider and a commission for Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project; arrangements for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, tenor Javier Camarena, conductor Alondra de la Parra, the Mexican songwriter Natalia Lafourcade, composer/guitarist Gustavo Santaolalla, The Knights, and collaborations with choreographers Aszure Barton, Damian Woetzel, Christopher Wheeldon and Eduardo Vilaro (with Ballet Hispanico).

Ljova immigrated to the United States and has lived on the Upper West Side of New York City since 1990. He is the son of one of Russia's foremost composers, Alexander Zhurbin, and the poet/lyricist/writer Irena Ginzburg.

Ljova released his debut solo CD, Vjola: World on Four Strings, in July 2006 on his own label, Kapustnik Records. "Mnemosyne", the debut album of his ensemble, Ljova and the Kontraband, featured Frank London, William Schimmel and other special guests. His third album, "Lost in Kino", focuses on his film music, featuring Ljova's cues from collaborations with films by Francis Ford Coppola, James Marsh, Robin Hessman, Josef Astor, Lev Polyakov, Roman Khrushch, Sean Gannet and Basia Winograd.

In 2012, Ljova released his fourth album, "Melting River", featuring music created for a dance piece by choreographer Aszure Barton. It was initially released as a download-exclusive on Bandcamp, but has since been issued on limited edition vinyl with bonus tracks.

His latest release is "No Refund on Flowers", the second album by Ljova and the Kontraband, crowdfunded through a 34-second campaign on Kickstarter.

Ljova is married to Inna Barmash, an attorney and musician. They have two sons, Benjamin (born 2009) and Yosif (born 2011).


as leader (composer / performer / arranger):

as composer:

  • 2013 - Brooklyn Rider: "A Walking Fire" (Mercury Classics) - includes "Culai" and "Budget Bulgar"
  • 2012 - Spark: "Folk Tunes" (Deutsche Grammophon) - includes "Budget Bulgar" and "Old Lautar"
  • 2011 - Tim Fain and Pei-Yao Wang: "River of Light" (Naxos) - includes "Sicilienne"
  • 2011 - Julia Kogan: "Troika" (Rideau Rouge Records) - includes "The Rain has Flown"
  • 2011 - Keve Wilson: "Pure Imagination" (Composers Concordance Recordings / Naxos) - includes "Plume"
  • 2010 - Spark: "Downtown Illusions" (ARS Produktion) - includes "Tango Heavy"
  • 2009 - The Knights & Jan Vogler: "Experience: Live from New York" (Sony Classical) - includes "Garmoshka"
  • 2008 - Brooklyn Rider: "Passport" (In a Circle Records) - includes "Plume" and "Crosstown"
  • 2003 - Soheil Nasseri: "Soheil Nasseri plays Yedidia, Zhurbin & Zyman" (21st Century Classical) - includes "Sicilienne"

as arranger:

as violist:

  • 2015 – Petros Klampanis: "Minor Dispute” (Inner Circle Music)
  • 2014 – Banda Magda: “Yerakina” (GroundUP / Ropeadope)
  • 2014 – Guy Barash: “Facts about Water” (Innova)
  • 2013 – Inna Barmash: “Yiddish Lullabies & Love Songs” (Independent)
  • 2013 – Jean Rohe: “Jean Rohe & The End of the World Show” (Laundry Line Records)
  • 2013 - Emika: "Dva" (Ninja Tune)
  • 2013 - Magda Giannikou / Banda Magda "amour t'es là?" (Edizioni Musicali Magdalini)
  • 2013 - Fall on Your Sword: "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" (Backlot Records / Universal)
  • 2012 - Fernando Otero: "Romance" (Soundbrush Records)
  • 2012 - Ryan Rumery: "Beyond the Horizon" (Independent)
  • 2012 - Fall on Your Sword: "Nobody Walks" (Lakeshore Records)
  • 2012 - Ryan Rumery: "Ivanov" (Independent)
  • 2012 - Sofia Ribeiro: "Ar" (independent)
  • 2011 - Marta Topferova: "The Other Shore" (World Village)
  • 2011 - Petros Klampanis: "Contextual" (Inner Circle Music)
  • 2011 - Fall on Your Sword: "Another Earth" (Lakeshore Records)
  • 2010 - Nina Nastasia: "Outlaster" (Fatcat)
  • 2010 - The Knights: "New Worlds" (Sony Classical)
  • 2010 - Amy Correia: "You Go Your Way" (Junketboy)
  • 2009 - The Knights and Jan Vogler: "Experience: Live from New York" (Sony Classical)
  • 2009 - Ronen Landa: "Picturebooks" (Love the Duck)
  • 2007 - La Mar Enfortuna - "Conviviencia" (Tzadik)
  • 2006 - Marta Topferova: "Flor Nocturna" (World Village)
  • 2006 - Assif Tsahar & KJLA Quartet: "Solitude" (Hopscotch Records)
  • 2005 - Golijov / Berio: "Ayre" (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • 2005 - Angus Martin: "Presqu'ile" (Soluna)
  • 2005 - Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Ensemble: "Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon" (Sony Classical)
  • 2003 - Heavenly Lullabies "Heavenly Lullabies" (independent)
  • 2002 - Assif Tsahar: "Fragments" (Hopscotch Records)
  • 2001 - Orchestra of S.E.M. Ensemble / Petr Kotik: "Morton Feldman: The Turfan Fragments" (Dog w/a Bone)
  • 2001 - George Davidson: "Allure" (GDP)
  • 2001 - George Davidson: "With Love" (GDP)
  • 2001 - George Davidson / Eugenio Leon: "Twin Strings II" (GDP)


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