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Alexander Borisovich Zhurbin (Алекса́ндр Бори́сович Журби́н; born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 7 August 1945) is a Russian composer.[1]

Alexander Zhurbin
Alexandr Zhurbin.jpg
Background information
Birth nameAlexander Borisovich Gandelsman (Александр Борисович Гандельсман)
Born (1945-08-07) 7 August 1945 (age 73)
OriginTashkent, Uzbekistan
GenresClassical, film music, Russian music
Occupation(s)Musician, arranger, film composer, producer
InstrumentsPiano, vocal
Years active1950–present
LabelsAZ Records, Melodiya
Associated actsLjova and the Kontraband



Alexander Borisovich Zhurbin 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).[2][3][4][5] 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 achieved great popularity. It was performed more than two thousand times 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).

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 the miniseries "Moscow Saga" based on the novel by Vasily Aksyonov.[6]

In 2015 there was an extended (2.5 month-long) festival of Zhurbin's works, which spanned almost every musical scene (opera, musical, symphony, rock, film), performances of his first four symphonies and including the premiere of his Fifth Symphony ("Speak, Memory!"), as well as the premiere of Zhurbin's opera "Melkiy Bes" (Petty Demon) based on Sologub.

A premiere of his new opera "Love's Metamorphosis" is slated for May 2017 at the Moscow Musical Theater Nemirovich-Danchenko.

Personal lifeEdit

He is married to the poet, translator and writer Irina Ginzburg. His son, Lev Zhurbin, is a composer and performer, living in New York.[7]

List of WorksEdit

[citation needed]

Symphonic and Chamber WorksEdit

  • 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 – "Dithyrambe" 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" ("Speak, Memory!") – for large orchestra and four soloists (violin, viola, cello and piano), in fifteen movements.
  • Op. 59 – "Love" – song cycle, poems by M. Tsvetaeva and O. Mandelshtam


  1. ^ "Александр Журбин".
  2. ^ Композитор Александр Журбин: эскиз к автопортрету
  3. ^ Актёрские судьбы
  4. ^ Список выпускников Республиканской музыкальной школы-интерната имени В. А. Успенского 1963 года
  5. ^ Краткая биографическая справка
  6. ^ Авторская колонка Журбина в газете «Известия»
  7. ^ «Музыкальные перекрёстки» на сайте радиостанции «Орфей»

External linksEdit