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 Nikolai Minkh

Born:   March, 28th (15), 1912
Deceased:   November, 2nd, 1982

the author of numerous popular songs


Composer, conductor, pianist, one of the founders of national variety and jazz music

Nikolay Grigoryevich Minkh was born on March, 28th (15), 1912 in Saratov.

He finished the Penza Musical Technical School majoring in piano in 1926, and studied in the Leningrad musical technical school majoring in piano and composition in 1926-1930.

From 1930 he was a pianist in various jazz ensembles, including the Jazz Capella, where his first compositions were played. He also worked as a ballet accompanist in the Leningrad Music Hall.

In 1934-1940 he was a pianist, an accordionist and the music arranger in Leonid Utyosov’s Teajazz. He was the author of numerous popular songs performed by Utyosov’s jazz band, the instrumental play Ten Years of Jazz among them.

In 1940 he became the head of the Variety Orchestra at the Leningrad Radio.

From the first days of war he participated in fights in the national home guard. After an injury he headed the orchestra of the Krasnoznamenny Baltic Fleet Theatre (1942—1945). Together with V.Vitlin and L.Kruts he composed and staged the operetta Raskinulos more shiroko (The sea streches wide) in the blockade Leningrad in 1942.

In 1945-1952 Minkh was the conductor of the Variety Symphonic Orchestra at the Leningrad Radio.

In 1954-1963 he was the musical director and the conductor of the orchestra of the Moscow Variety Theatre and composed music for variety performances. He skillfully employed young composers who soon gained fame (J.Saulsky, V.Terletsky, J.Frenkel, etc.). He is the author of a number of musical comedies staged in theatres.

Minkh was one of the founders of Russian variety and jazz music. In 1966-1982 he headed the Variety Instrumental Music Committee of the Moscow Union of Composers, which became the centre of jazz life in the Russian capital. Minkh is the author of compositions for variety orchestra and more than 150 songs.

Nikolai Minkh was the Honoured Arts Worker of RSFSR (1973).

He died on November, 2nd, 1982.

Tags: Russian music Russian musicians    

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