Rudolf Barshai
Rudolf Borisovich Barshai

was a Soviet/Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n conductor
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble...

 and violist
-Notable violists:A* Julia Rebekka Adler * Sir Hugh Allen , conductor* Kris Allen * Johann Andreas Amon * Paul Angerer , composer* Steven Ansell * Atar Arad * Cecil Aronowitz...


Barshai was born in Stanitsa
Stanitsa is a village inside a Cossack host . Stanitsas were the primary unit of Cossack hosts.Historically, the stanitsa was a unit of economic and political organisation of the Cossack peoples primarily in the southern regions of the Russian Empire.Much of the land was held in common by the...

 Lobinskaya, Krasnodar Krai
Krasnodar Krai
-External links:* **...

, and studied at the Moscow Conservatory
Moscow Conservatory
The Moscow Conservatory is a higher musical education institution in Moscow, and the second oldest conservatory in Russia after St. Petersburg Conservatory. Along with the St...

 under Lev Tseitlin and Vadim Borisovsky
Vadim Borisovsky
Vadim Vasilyevich Borisovsky was a Russian violist.Born in Moscow, Borisovsky entered Moscow Conservatory in 1917 studying the violin with Mikhail Press. A year later, on the advice of violist Vladimir Bakaleinikov, Borisovsky turned his attentions to the viola. He studied with Bakaleinikov and...

. He performed as a soloist as well as together with Sviatoslav Richter
Sviatoslav Richter
Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter was a Soviet pianist well known for the depth of his interpretations, virtuoso technique, and vast repertoire. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century.-Childhood:...

, David Oistrakh
David Oistrakh
David Fyodorovich Oistrakh , , David Fiodorović Ojstrakh, ; – October 24, 1974, was a Soviet violinist....

, and as a member of a trio with Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, KBE , known to close friends as Slava, was a Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor. He was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. He is widely considered to have been the greatest cellist of the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of...

 and Leonid Kogan. He won numerous Soviet and international competitions. He was the founding violist of the Borodin Quartet
Borodin Quartet
The Borodin Quartet is a string quartet that was founded in 1945 in the former Soviet Union. It is one of the world's longest lasting string quartets, marking its 60th anniversary season in 2005....

 in 1945 and was a member until 1953. Later, he studied conducting under Ilya Musin
Ilya Musin
Ilya Aleksandrovich Musin was a Russian conductor, a prominent teacher and a theorist of conducting.He began his conducting studies under the conductors Nikolai Malko and Aleksandr Gauk. In 1934, Musin became assistant to Fritz Stiedry with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Later, he...

 in Leningrad.

In 1955, Barshai founded the Moscow chamber orchestra
Moscow Chamber Orchestra
The Moscow Chamber Orchestra is a Chamber Orchestra based in Moscow, Russia, and assigned to the Moscow Philharmonia, a State-run enterprise, formerly under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and now, Ministry of Culture of Russian Federation.-Founding, 1955 :Rudolf Barshai was a virtuoso...

, which he led and conducted until he emigrated to the West in 1977. He was the artistic director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra
Israel Chamber Orchestra
The Israel Chamber Orchestra is an Israeli orchestra based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Primary funding comes from the Israel Ministry of Education and the Tel Aviv Jaffa Municipality....

 from 1976 to 1981. From 1981 until 1982 Barshai was principal conductor of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is a Canadian orchestra performing in Vancouver, British Columbia. Over 240,000 people attend its live performances each year. It was founded in 1930 and plays in 12 venues. Its home is the Orpheum theatre. With an annual operating budget of $9.5 million, it is the...

. Principal Guest Conductor of Orchestre National de France
Orchestre National de France
The Orchestre national de France is a symphony orchestra run by Radio France. It has also been known as the Orchestre national de la Radiodiffusion française and Orchestre national de l'Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française .Since 1944, the orchestra has been based in the Théâtre...

 (National Orchestra of France)1985-1986. He was principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is an English orchestra. Originally based in Bournemouth, the BSO moved its offices to the adjacent town of Poole in 1979....

 from 1982 to 1986.

Barshai achieved fame as a musical interpreter and arranger of Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century....

's and Prokofiev
Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

's music. He is particularly noted for his arrangement of Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8
String Quartet No. 8 (Shostakovich)
Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 in C minor was written in three days . It was premiered that year in Leningrad by the Beethoven Quartet....

 for chamber orchestra. In 2000, Barshai produced a completion of Mahler
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler was a late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in the village of Kalischt, Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary, now Kaliště in the Czech Republic...

's Tenth Symphony
Symphony No. 10 (Mahler)
The Symphony No. 10 by Gustav Mahler was written in the summer of 1910, and was his final composition. At the time of Mahler's death the composition was substantially complete in the form of a continuous draft; but not being fully elaborated at every point, and mostly not orchestrated, it was not...

, which was left unfinished at the composer's death. In addition, he has recorded a number of Shostakovich's works. Many of his recordings have earned critical acclaim and have won international awards:
  • 1988 Gramophone Awards – Concerto : Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto No. 2, Rudolf Barshai conducting Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; solo: Donohoe (EMI)
  • 2003 Cannes Classical Music Award: Orchestral 20 Century: Shostakovich: Complete Symphonies; Barshai (Brilliant Classics)
  • 2003 Editor's Award ( Record of the Year: Shostakovich: Complete Symphonies; Barshai (Brilliant Classics).

In 1954, Barshai married Anna Martinson, a Russian painter and costume designer, and daughter of the Soviet comic Sergey Martinson
Sergey Martinson
Sergey Alexandrovich Martinson was a Russian eccentric comic actor, the master of pantomime, buffoonery and grotesque. He became People's Artist of the RSFSR in 1964....

. They have a son, Walter Barshai
Walter Barshai
Walter Barshai is a Russian author, scientist and humanitarian, and the founder of the Tairus Research and Production facility within the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk, Russia....

, born June 6, 1955. After their divorce in 1963 and his marriage to a Japanese translator, Teruko Soda (son Takeshi, b. January 10, 1967), he married concert organist Elena Raskova. Barshai resided in Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 until his death.

External links

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