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 • Moscow
 • Moscow Federal City
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Isaak Dunayevsky
Birth: Jan. 30, 1900
Death: Jul. 25, 1955

Composer, Conductor. The USSR's most popular creator of light music. He was the first Soviet musician to consistently use jazz in his compositions, even though that genre was frowned upon by the authorities. Isaak Osipovich Dunayevsky was born in Lokhvitsa, Poltava, Russia, and graduated from the Kharkov Conservatory in 1919. In the 1920s he conducted the big band of pioneer Soviet jazz singer Leonid Utyosov and from 1929 to 1934 he was music director of the Leningrad Music Hall. He later settled in Moscow and worked primarily in films and for the operetta stage. The World War II years saw him entertaining Red Army troops at the front with his own ensemble and turning out many patriotic songs. In the wake of the Central Committee's 1948 purge of Soviet composers (Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Khachaturian), Dunayevsky was accused of "cosmopolitanism" but only mildly censured. He received two Stalin prizes (1939, 1950) and was named People's Artist of the USSR in 1950. His final work, the operetta "White Acacia", was premiered a few months after his death from an apparent heart attack. Although he was no innovator, Dunayevsky took risks in developing a personal style that blended jazz, Russian folk, and elements of Viennese operetta into a popular whole. He was beloved by millions of his countrymen for the cheerful catchiness of his melodies, which were always set to optimistic texts. (It was joked that he didn't know how to compose in a minor key). Outside of Russia he is probably best remembered for his collaboration with film director Grigori Alexandrov, with whom he virtually created the Soviet musical-comedy genre. Their films together were "The Jolly Fellows" (1934), "Circus" (1936), "Volga-Volga" (1938), "Bright Road" (1940), and "Spring" (1947). Dunayevsky's 200 compositions also include 14 operettas, three ballets, over 50 orchestral pieces (some jazz-inspired), and scores of songs for soloists or chorus. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Zinaida Sudeikina Dunayevskaya*
 
 Children:
  Yevgeny Isaakovich Dunayevsky (1932 - 2000)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Novodevichy Cemetery
Moscow
Moscow Federal City, Russian Federation
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Jan 04, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 23752861
Isaak Dunayevsky
Added by: Anonymous
 
Isaak Dunayevsky
Added by: Creative Commons
 
Isaak Dunayevsky
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Rogério Monteiro
 
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- Tom A. Hawk
 Added: Jan. 30, 2014

- Jackie Howard
 Added: Jan. 30, 2014

- David Wend
 Added: Jan. 30, 2014
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