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 Oscar Strok


Born:   January, 6th 1893
Deceased:   June, 22nd 1975

Latvian, Russian and Soviet composer. The outstanding melodist was yet in his lifetime named the king of tango.

      

Oscar Davydovich Strok was born in Dinaburg of the Kurland Province (now Daugavpils, Latvia), as the youngest of eight children in a musical family.

He studied in the St.Petersburg Conservatory, majoring in piano and being tutored by Nikolai Dubasov, and then worked as an accompanist on variety stage and in cinema. He accompanied concerts of many variety music stars, in particular to outstanding Russian folk singer Nadezhda Plevitskaya.

Strok spent the most essential years of his life and creativity in Riga, and also lived in Paris, Berlin, Harbin, Alma-Ata and Moscow. He composed songs based on verses by modern poets writing in Yiddish, accompanied to singers of Jewish songs, among them the seven-year-old singer Misha Aleksandrovich from Riga (subsequently a synagogue cantor and a well-known Soviet variety singer).

During World War Two, as a member of frontline concert brigades in the acting army, he created a lot of patriotic songs (i.e. «We shall win», «Front driver», etc). During those military years Oscar Strok went on joint tours with Klavdiya Shulzhenko. He was not only a composer and an accompanist, but also a soloist.

He took part in the contest for the National Anthem of the USSR. Strok also worked on the soundtrack to the film Kotovsk and made his appearance in the movie as an accompanist in a White Guard tavern.

After the war light and dance music of the western type happened to be under a ban. Oscar Strok — the author of over three hundred tangos and other music pieces performed by the best orchestras of many countries of the world – was excluded from the Union of Composers of Latvia, since his music was claimed as lacking ideas. New records of his songs and instrumental music compositions resumed to be released in the Soviet Union only in the early 1970s.

Oscar Strok is the author of numerous famous tangos, among them "Black Eyes", «Tell me, why», and «Moon Rhapsody». Many of his songs were performed by Pyotr Leshchenko.

Oscar Davydovich Strok died on June, 22nd, 1975.

V.Manykina


Tags: Russian music Russian composers Oscar Strok   




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