Dunayevski, Isaac Osipovich

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DUNAYEVSKI, ISAAC OSIPOVICH (1900–1955), Soviet Russian composer. Born at Lokhvitsa, near Poltava, Ukraine, he began to learn the piano at the age of four and studied at the Kharkov Conservatory, with Joseph *Achron. In 1919 he settled in Leningrad. Dunayevski was one of the leading popular composers of Soviet Russia, and in 1937 was made president of the Union of Soviet Composers. His works include light operas, dance music, songs, choruses, and incidental music to plays and films, as well as a string quartet, a Song of Stalin for chorus and orchestra, a Requiem for reciter and quintet, and one work for jazz orchestra, the Rhapsody on Song-Themes of the Peoples of the U.S.S.R. (1931). Among his operettas were The Golden Valley (1934) and The Road to Happiness (1939). His 12 scores for films include Circus (1935) and Volga-Volga (1938) which made a permanent contribution to Soviet popular song. For a time after 1933 he experimented with jazz idioms. He was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1941. Dunayevski died in Moscow, and the collection Vystupleniya, statyi, pisma, vospominaniya ("Appearances, Articles, Letters, Memoirs") was published posthumously in 1961.


L. Danilevich, I.O. Dunayevski (1947); I. Nestyev, in: Sovetskaya Muzyka, 19: 11 (1955), 35–48; L.V. Mikheyeva, I.O. Dunayevski, 1900–1955: kratki ocherk zhizni i tvorchestva (1963).

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