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Alexander Zhurbin (Composer)

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.

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