Svyatoslav Belza

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Svyatoslav Belza
Born Svyatoslav Igorevich Belza
(1942-04-26)26 April 1942
Chelyabinsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Died 3 June 2014(2014-06-03) (aged 72)
Munich, Germany
Occupation journalist, critic, author, TV presenter,
Years active 1979–2014

Svyatoslav Igorevich Belza (Russian: Святосла́в И́горевич Бэ́лза; 26 April 1942 – 3 June 2014) was a Soviet/Russian literary and musical scholar, critic and essayist, and prominent TV personality. He created and hosted several TV programs aimed at popularizing classical music, theatre, and ballet, including Music In the Air and Masterpieces of the World Music Theatre. Belza won state honors in three countries: he received the Russian Order of Merit for the Fatherland, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, and Ukrainian Order of Saint Nicholas, among other honors.


Svyatoslav Belza was born 26 April 1942 in Chelyabinsk. He was son of a Warsaw-born Soviet musician, composer, and art scholar Igor Fyodorovich Belza (1904–1994). His mother was Zoya Konstantinovna Belza-Doroshuk (Gulinskaya) (1921–1999). As a youth, Belza was a champion fencer.[1]

In 1965, Belza graduated from Moscow University's philological faculty.[2] He then joined the Gorky Institute of the world literature at the Russian Academy of Sciences.[3]

From 1979 until 1989, Belza contributed regularly to Literaturnaya Gazeta as a foreign literature reviewer. He is the author of more than 300 essays, the majority of which focus on foreign literature and Russian authors' links with the European culture. Among his notable works are "Brysov and Dante" (Dante and the Slavs anthology, 1965), "Bryusov and Poland" (1966), "Don Quixotes in Russian Poetry" (1969), "The Polish Connections of P.A.Vyazemsky" (Polish-Russian Literary Relations anthology, 1970), "Graham Greene" (English Literature, 1945–1980, 1987), "Pushkin and the Slavic Nations Cultural Unity" (1988), "Dante e la poesia russa nel primo quarto del XX secolo" (from Dantismo russo e cornice europea, Firenze, 1989), "Rozanov and his Readership" (Vasilij Rozanov. Milano, 1993), and "The Slovak Literature" (The History of the World Literature, Vol. 8, 1991).[2]

Belza was considered one of the foremost Shakespeare experts in Russia. He compiled and edited the legacy of another important Russian Shakespearean scholar, Mikhail Morozov (1897–1952).[1] Belza also provided forewords and prefaces for more than 100 publications of works by William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Alexandre Dumas, Honoré de Balzac, Jules Verne, Graham Greene, C. P. Snow, Edgar Allan Poe, Jan Parandowski, Stanisław Lem, Sławomir Mrożek, Teodor Parnicki, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, among others.[1] In 1990, he compiled The Reading Man. Homo Legens, regarded as an innovative study of the fundamental ability of the modern man. His essays were translated into several languages.[2]


In 1987, Belza debuted on Soviet television and soon received his own program, Music In the Air (Muzyka v efire, 1988–1996) of which he was the author and presenter.[1] From 1993 until 1995, he worked as an art director of the Ostankino musical and entertainment department. In 1997, Belza started working for Kultura TV. Among his best known programs there were Masterpieces of the World Theatre and In Your House. He was the co-host (alongside Maria Maksakova) of the popular Romantika Romansa show and co-presenter (with Alla Sigalova) of The Bolshoi Opera (2011) and The Bolshoi Ballet (2012).[2]


In 1988, Belza received a Polish Cultural Merit award. In 1994, Belza was named People's Artist of Russia. He received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, as well as the Ukrainian Order of Saint Nicholas in 1997.[1]

In 2000, Belza was awarded the Order of Friendship. He won the Moscow Prize in 2002. In 2011, he won the State Prize of the Russian Federation for arts and literature. The following year, he won the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, the second highest-honor given by the state. In 2013, he received the "Award of the Government of the Russian Federation" in the field of culture.[2]

Belza was a member of the Russian Television Academy from 1994 until his death, and a member of the Russian Academy of Arts since 1998. He was also a member of the Eurasian Academy of Television since 2001.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Belza had two sons, Igor and Fedor,[1] with his wife Olga, who is the daughter of Pyotr Glebov. He died on 3 June 2014 in Munich, Germany at the age of 72.[2][4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Бэлза Святослав Игоревич" [Svyatoslav Belza]. The TEFI Award site. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Svaytoslav Belza biography". Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Lukov, Vl., Zakharov, N. "Svyatoslav Belza biography". The World of Shakespeare Enc. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 

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