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 Boris Grebenshchikov

Born:   November 27th, 1953

Boris Grebenshchikov - Outstanding Russian musician and songwriter, leader of the rock band Aquarium.


Russian rock music of the past and present can hardly be imagined without Boris Grebenshchikov and his band Aquarium.

Boris Borisovich Grebenshchikov was born on November, 27th, 1953 in Leningrad, where he spent his childhood and which remains his home city. As a schoolboy yet he attended a poetry studio and wrote poems. After finishing school he entered the Applied Mathematics and Administration Faculty of the Leningrad State University. It was there – in a room behind the stage of the faculty assembly hall – where the first rehearsals of Aquarium started to take place. The band was founded by Boris Grebenshchikov jointly with his school friend Anatoly Gunitsky, nicknamed George due to his appearance resembling George Harrison.

As early as 1969 Boris wrote and sang songs in English in their school ensemble. Soon he came to the conclusion, however, that lyrics of his songs should be in Russian.

The musicians were inspired by creativity of Marc Bolan, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Bob Marley, and Jim Morrison. In the early 1970s Boris Grebenshchikov was one of those people who created new records in a crack. Thanks to his mastery of the English language the leader of Aquarium was perfectly versed in foreign music, and always aspired to maintain the world standards of quality.

In the 1970 – 1980s the Aquarium band repeatedly gave underground "home concerts" (kvartirniki – concerts performed in apartments of some of the fans).

The band’s first studio recording – Sinii Albom (Blue Album) – was spread around the entire country in samizdat copies.

Boris Grebenshchikov and Aquarium gained nation-wide popularity after participation in the All-Union Festival of Ensembles and Rock Bands Vesennie Ritmy (Spring rhythms) that took place in Tbilisi in November, 1980. The band’s performance and onstage behavior, which were too outspoken and daring for that epoch produced a bomb-blast effect and gave rise to numerous admonitions of the authorities.

The following years of BG’s creativity were marked with some bright projects co-authored with the Leningrad avant-garde musician Sergey Kuryokhin.

In 1984 and then in 1986 Aquarium made its appearance on television in the program Musical Ring. Later the number of broadcasts featuring Aquarium and Grebenshchikov’s interviews for mass media kept growing.

After the opening of Rock Club in Leningrad Boris Grebenshchikov took a most active part in its projects. In the mid 1980s, with the advent of perestroika and glasnost (restructuring and publicity), the band emerged from the underground, with its popularity already enormous by that time.

The concerts were growing more and more populous. “Starting from autumn of 1986 we moved from one stadium to another to ovations so stormy as if we had personally cancelled the Soviet power» - B.G. recalled. Brilliant albums came out one after another. Aquarium’s songs made their way to avant-garde Russian cinema (i.e. they accompanied several films by Sergey Solovyov). Boris Grebenshchikov has acted as the composer and the actor in a film Two captains-2.

Within over 30 years of continuous creative activity Boris Grebenshchikov has written more than 500 songs and recorded more than 40 music albums. He greatly contributed to integration of the Russian cultural thought into the world cultural space.

In 1998 Boris Grebenshchikov became the first and so far the only rock musician – the winner of the Russian Triumph Award encouraging higher achievements of literature and art. In 2003 he was awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland of the 4th degree.

    Russian Wiki

Tags: Boris Grebenshchikov Russian rock musicians Russian music   

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