Gubaidulina, Sofia (Asgatovna)

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Gubaidulina, Sofia (Asgatovna)

Gubaidulina, Sofia (Asgatovna), remarkable Russian composer; b. Chistopol, Oct. 24, 1931. She received training in piano from Maria Piatnitskaya and in theory from Nazib Zhiganov at the Academy of Music (1946-49), and in piano from Leopold Lukomsky and Grigory Kogan, and in composition from Albert Leman at the Cons. (1949-54) in Kazan. She then studied composition with Nikolai Peiko and Vissarion Shebalin at the Moscow Cons. (1954-63), and later pursued research at the Moscow Electronic Music Studio (from 1968). In 1991 she settled in Germany. In 1999 she was awarded the Leonie Sonning Music Prize of Denmark. Gubaidulina’s heritage—her grandfather was a mullah, her father was a Tatar, and her mother was of Russian, Polish, and Jewish descent—has played a significant role in her development as a composer. Claiming that ”I am the place where East meets West,” the spiritual quality of her works is reflected in the influence of the Muslim, Orthodox, Jewish, and Roman Catholic faiths. While she has pursued advanced compositional methods along avant-garde lines, she has done so in victorially divergent paths which have allowed her to retain a unique individuality.


DRAMATIC Opera - b a l l e t - o r a t o r i o : Oration for the Age of Aquarius (1991). B a l l e t : Volshebnaya svirel (1960); Flute of Tania (1961); Begushchaya po volnam (1962). Film scores. ORCH.: 2 syms.: No. 1 (1958) and No. 2, Stimmen…Verstummen (Berlin, Sept. 4, 1986); Piano Concerto (1959); Adagio and Fugue for Violin and String Orch. (1960); Intermezzo for 8 Trumpets, 16 Harps, and Percussion (1961); Triumph, overture (1963); Fairy Tale Poem (1971); Detto II for Cello and Orch. (1972; Moscow, May 5, 1973); Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings (1975; Moscow, May 6, 1976); Concerto for Orch. and Jazz Band (1976; Moscow, Jan. 16, 1978); Te salutant for Large Light Orch. (1978); Introitus for Piano and Chamber Orch. (Moscow, Feb. 22, 1978); Offertorium for Violin and Orch. (1980; Vienna, May 30, 1981; rev. version, Berlin, Sept. 24, 1982; final version, London, Nov. 2, 1986); (Last) 7 Words for Cello, Bayan, and Strings (Moscow, Oct. 20, 1982); Antwort ohne Frage for 3 Orchs. (1988); Pro et Contra (Louisville, Nov. 24, 1989); Und: Das Feste ist in vollem Gange, cello concerto (1993; La Palmas, Canary Islands, Jan. 31, 1994); Zeitgestalten (Birmingham, Nov. 29, 1994); Music for Flute, Strings, and Percussion (1994); Viola Concerto (1996; Chicago, April 17, 1997); The Canticle of the Sun, concerto for Cello, Chamber Chorus, and Percussion Orch. (1997; rev. 1998); In the Shadow of the Tree for Koto, Bass Koto, Zheng, and Orch. (1998; Tokyo, April 14, 1999); Two Paths for 2 Violas and Orch. (1998; N.Y., April 29, 1999). CHAMBER: Variations for String Quartet (1956); Piano Quintet (1957); Allegro rustico for Flute and Piano (1963); 5 Etudes for Harp, Double Bass, and Percussion (1965); Percussion Sonata (1966); Pantomime for Double Bass and Piano (1966); Concordanza for 10 Instruments (Prague, May 23, 1971); 4 string quartets: No. 1 (1971; Cologne, March 24, 1979), No. 2 (Kuhmo, Finland, July 23, 1987), No. 3 (Edinburgh, Aug. 22, 1987), and No. 4 (1990); Music for Harpsichord and Percussion (Leningrad, April 5, 1972); 10 Preludes for Cello (1974); Quattro for 2 Trumpets and 2 Trombones (1974); Rumore e silenzio for Percussion and Harpsichord or Celesta (1974); Double Bass Sonata (1975); 2 Ballads for 2 Trumpets and Piano (1976); Trio for 3 Trumpets (1976); Dots, Line, and Zigzag for Bass Clarinet and Piano (1976); On Tatar Folk Themes for Domra and Piano (1977); Duo Sonata for 2 Bassoons (1977); Misterioso for 7 Percussion (1977); Quartet for 4 Flutes (1977); Lamento for Tuba and Piano (1977); Muzika for Harpsichord and Percussion (1977); Song Without Words for Trumpet and Piano (1977); Detto I for Organ and Percussion (1978); Sounds of the Forest for Flute and Piano (1978); Flute Sonatina (1978); De Profundis for Bayan (1978); 2 Pieces for Horn and Piano (1979); Jubilatio for 4 Percussion (1979); In croce for Cello and Organ (1979); Garten von Freuden und Traurigkeiten for Flute, Harp, Viola, and Speaker ad libitum (1980); Sonata: Rejoice! for Violin and Cello (1981); Descensio for 9 Instruments (Paris, April 30, 1981); Quasi Hoquetus for Viola, Bassoon, and Piano (1984); Bayan Sonata (1985); Silenzio, 5 pieces for Accordion, Violin, and Cello (1991); Der Seiltanzer, violin sonata (Washington, D.C., Feb. 24, 1994); In Erwartung for Saxophone Quartet and 6 Percussionists (1994); An Angel for Alto and Double Bass (1994); Quaternion for 4 Cellos (1996). KEYBOARD : Piano : Sonatina (1952); 8 Preludes (1955); Chaconne (1962); Sonata (1965); Musical Toys, 14 children’s pieces (1969); Toccata-troncata (1971); Invention (1974). Organ : Light and Darkness (1976). VOCAL: Fazelija for Soprano and Orch. (1956); Night in Memphis for Mezzo- soprano, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1968; rev. 1988 and 1992); Rubáiyát for Baritone and Chamber Orch. (1969; Moscow, Dec. 24, 1976); Stufen for Speaking Chorus and Orch. (1972); Laudatio Pads for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Speaker, 2 Choruses, and Orch. (1975; in collaboration with M. Kopelent and P.-H. Dittrich); Perception for Soprano, Baritone, 2 Violins, 2 Violas, 3 Cellos, Double Bass, and Tape (1983; Lockenhaus, June 11, 1986); Hommage a Marina Tsvetayeva for Chorus (1984); Hommage a T.S. Eliot for Soprano and 8 Instruments (Cologne, March 25, 1987); Witty Waltzing in the Style of Johann Strauss for Soprano and 8 Instruments (Cologne, March 25, 1987); Jauchzt vor Gott for Chorus and Organ (1989); Alleluia for Boy Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1990); Aus dem Stundenbuch for Men’s Chorus, Cello, and Orch. (1991); Jetzt Immer Schnee for Chamber Chorus and Chamber Ensemble (Amsterdam, June 12, 1993); Galgenlieder a 3 for Mezzo-soprano, Double Bass, and Percussion (1995-96); Galgenlieder a 5 for Mezzo-soprano, Flute, Percussion, Bayan, and Double Bass (1996); Song Cycle for Soprano and Double Bass (Huddersfield, Nov. 25, 1996); St. John Passion for Soloists, 2 Choruses, and Orch. (1999).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire