Composer, arranger, singer and conductor Varlamov Alexander Vladimirovich: biography, creativity and interesting facts

Composer, arranger, singer and conductor Varlamov Alexander Vladimirovich: biography, creativity and interesting facts
Composer, arranger, singer and conductor Varlamov Alexander Vladimirovich: biography, creativity and interesting facts

The famous film directed by Karen Shakhnazarov "We are from Jazz" entered the top twenty highest-grossing films in the USSR in 1983. The film is based on stories about the creation of a Soviet jazz band in the 20s. The composer, singer, arranger and conductor Alexander Varlamov told the authors of the picture. It was with his work, according to Leonid Utyosov, that everything began …

A short biography of Alexander Varlamov will be presented to your attention in the article.

The heyday of jazz in Soviet Russia

To the modern generation, not versed in jazz, it seems that this Negro music has always been disrespected in the USSR. However, this is not quite true. Jazz was persecuted, but later. In the 1930s, this musical direction was considered the ideological and progressive art of the proletariat. Jazz orchestras played in the Kremlin, participated in filming at Mosfilm, for example, in the films Circus, Merry Guys, Girl in a Hurry for a Date. There were more than a hundred jazz orchestras in the country. Thisstyle of music fell in love with many. It could be heard in the restaurant, on the dance floor, in the foyer of the cinema before the show, in concert, in the circus, on the radio and on the record.

Varlamov Alexander

The first Soviet jazz orchestras

In Moscow in 1936, the State Jazz Orchestra was established, led by Viktor Knushevitsky. The railway workers and the Radio Committee had their own jazz bands. Among connoisseurs of music, such genres as vocal ensemble and jazz tap dance were popular. Foreign jazz bands from Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Sweden also actively performed in the country.

The creative principles of jazz in the 1930s determined the path of development of this trend in Russia. Orchestras led by Valentin Parnakh showed in practice that jazz can become an independent number in a concert and a philharmonic genre, so that the 1930s can be called the “golden” time of Soviet jazz. At the same time, Alexander Varlamov's jazz band appeared. In 1930, he created "Pervokse", otherwise "The First Vocal Quartet of the Modern Stage".

Varlamov Alexander Vladimirovich

Biography: Alexander Varlamov and his love for music in childhood

On June 19, 1904, Alexander Vladimirovich Varlamov was born into a creative family. Although he himself said that his birthday does not fall a month later - July 19th. Like, something was mixed up in the documents and recorded in June. Friends and relatives congratulated the composer on his birthday twice - in June and July. He was always very happy about it.

Alexander was bornVarlamov in the city of Simbirsk in a rather musical environment. His great-grandfather was a composer and author of popular romances and songs. Konstantin Alexandrovich Varlamov, great-uncle, was a famous dramatic actor. It is worth noting that many family members were also fond of music. Little Sasha's mother shone as an opera singer, sang in the church choir.

Varlamov Alexander

Choosing between music and theater

A logical continuation of the family dynasty was Alexander Vladimirovich Varlamov's passion for music, which became his profession. Living until September 1918 in Simbirsk, Alexander studied first at the first, and then at the second male gymnasium. In the same city, he graduated from a music school under the guidance of E.V. Tsetnerskaya. In Simbirsk, his first musical creations were published - the w altz "Evening" and the play "Sadness".

However, the music did not immediately completely take over the dreams of young Alexander. He wanted to realize himself in the career of a dramatic actor. To do this, Varlamov in 1922 entered the acting department at GITIS. However, the love of music was stronger, Alexander goes to the music school. Gnesins. There he studies composition with such masters as Reinhold Gliere and Dmitry Rogal-Levitsky.

Alexander Varlamov composer

Passion for Jazz

During his studies in Moscow Alexander Varlamov heard jazz for the first time. He attended a jazz concert by Valentin Parnakh. The listeners were delighted and stunned by the unusual spectacle and new music. In 1926 Alexander Varlamov visitedperformance of the touring jazz band Frank Wilters. Music shocked and captivated Alexander Varlamov. He began to comprehend the basics of jazz orchestration, playing method, instrumentation.

Passion for jazz Alexander Varlamov gave his passion for radio technology. Through a makeshift radio, he listened to this extraordinary music. Jazz made the greatest impression on him after watching the film "King of Jazz", in which the famous composer and pianist George Gershwin performed his own rhapsody. Alexander Varlamov begins writing jazz music himself.

alexander varlamov

First steps in jazz

The first musical group of Alexander Varlamov was "Pervokse". In 1931-1933, he graduated from his studies, with a conductor's diploma, and got a job as the head of the musical department of the Moscow Miniature Theater. However, his plans were different. Varlamov Alexander gathers a jazz orchestra at the Central House of the Red Army and holds the first concert on a grand scale.

He attracts the attention of the public by his collaboration with the African-American singer Celestina Kool. By the way, the story with this performer got into the film “We are from Jazz”. She was invited to the USSR by a relative, a worker of the Moscow Bearing Plant, Moscow Council deputy Robert Robinson. In Moscow, she received citizenship and studied singing. She liked the skill of the Varlamov orchestra and, collaborating, they even released a phonograph record.

Although during the first meeting, Celestina flatly refused to perform with a white jazz ensemble. Team Administrator Felix Danilevichwith difficulty, but persuaded the singer. Especially for her, Alexander Varlamov wrote the romances "Yellow Rose", "Lallabai", "Rhapsody of Love" by Williams and "Time is in my hands".

Later, Alexander Varlamov assembled the first group of improvising musicians in the union called "Seven". In 1938 he worked with the jazz orchestra of the All-Union Radio Committee, together with him he performed on Soviet television. In the early 40s, he was the leader of the jazz orchestra of the Moscow State Technical University. N. Bauman, later conducted the State Jazz Orchestra of the USSR.

With the beginning of the war, the State Jazz of the USSR was transformed into the Exemplary Jazz Orchestra of the People's Commissariat of Defense. The team went to the front, where almost all the musicians died. Varlamov Alexander stayed in Moscow and led the symphonic jazz at the All-Union Studio of Variety Art. He prepared musical numbers for performances for US sailors in the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk.

biography alexander varlamov

Years in exile

The talented musician's far-reaching plans were unexpectedly interrupted in the winter of 1943. Alexander Varlamov was taken into custody by a military convoy. He was sent from Moscow to the Urals, and then to Kazakhstan. Until 1948 he was the leader of the camp orchestra, worked as a teacher in Karaganda. There are several versions of the reasons for the detention and arrest of the composer, but the exact reason is unknown. Alexander Varlamov was accused of preparing concerts for the Germans, preparing to escape abroad and betraying the Motherland. He spent 13 years in camps and exiles.

short biography of alexander varlamov

After the war

The composer was rehabilitated in 1956, reinstated in the Union of Composers. After returning to Moscow, Varlamov Alexander Vladimirovich composed music for variety orchestras, television programs, and films. With his light hand, such compositions for the orchestra as "Early Hour", "Merry Hour", "Life is Full of Happiness", "Dixie Lee" and others gained popularity.

He wrote plays: "Romantic Rhapsody", "My favorite land", "Believe me, you understand" and others. Varlamov was a talented translator, he translated foreign songs and performed them. He was the arranger for Adeline Patti's Italian barcarolle.

Alexander Varlamov is a composer who wrote works for a big band in the 70s. In 1986, he dedicated the composition "Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra" to his native city of Simbirsk, later called Ulyanovsk. He worked diligently on the performing technique and ensemble playing of musicians, which caused a noticeable increase in professionalism in Soviet jazz and influenced the development of jazz in the USSR. At the end of his life, Alexander Varlamov lived in Moscow in the Bibirevo district.In 1979 he was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR.The composer died on August 20, 1990, he was buried at the Domodedovo cemetery.

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