Russian Personalities

People well-known in art, sport, film, fashion

Category Archive: Music

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – first in Madame Figaro’s list

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – first in Madame Figaro’s list


Nadezhda Tolokonnikova became woman of the year, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro. The runner-up is the U.S. President Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama, and the third is the actress Meryl Streep.
Also she is known as Nadya Tolokno. She is a Russian political activist, a member of the punk rock group Pussy Riot.
Nadia was born on November 7, 1989 in Norilsk. A year after her birth, the family moved to Krasnoyarsk, but after a while returned to Norilsk. When the girl was five years old, her parents divorced.
The future political activist studied well during her school years. She successfully graduated from music school. Then Nadia entered the Moscow State University, Faculty of Philosophy.
One day the girl met political activist Peter Verzilov. Young people fell in love with each other. They travelled in Spain and Portugal, and when the lovers returned to their homeland, they decided to get married. Their daughter Gera, whom they named after the Greek goddess Hera, was born in 2008. The young mother was only eighteen years old.
More »

Dmitri Shostakovich – prominent composer

Dmitri Shostakovich - prominent composer

Dmitri Shostakovich – prominent composer


To me he seemed like a trapped man, whose only wish was to be left alone, to the peace of his own art and to the tragic destiny to which he, like most of his countrymen, has been forced to resign himself.
Nikolai Nabokov on meeting with Shostakovich in 1949 in New York

Dmitri Shostakovich was a Soviet pianist, public figure, teacher, doctor of art history, People’s Artist of the USSR, one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. By the way, he was Hero of Socialist Labor, winner of the Lenin Prize, five Stalin Prizes, the USSR State Prize and the Glinka State Prize of the RSFSR. He was one of the greatest composers of the XX century, the author of 15 symphonies, 3 operas, 3 ballets, numerous works of chamber music, music for movies and theater productions.
The boy was born on September 25, 1906 in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire. The mother of the future composer, Sophia, was a wonderful pianist with the academic musical education. Dmitri had two sisters. Children together with parents took part in home improvised concerts.
At the age of 19 Shostakovich composed the First Symphony. It was presented at the First International Chopin Piano Competition in Poland in 1927. German conductor Bruno Walter noticed talented young man and organized the foreign premiere of the symphony in late 1927 in Berlin.
More »

Rodion Shchedrin, great composer

Rodion Shchedrin, great composer

Rodion Shchedrin, great composer


Rodion Shchedrin is a Russian composer and pianist. By the way, he is the winner of the Lenin State Prize (1984), USSR State Prize (1972) and the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1992). Also he is a member of the Interregional Deputy Group (1989–1991).
Shchedrin devoted his life to music. Rodion Konstantinovich was named a classic during his lifetime, and the orchestrations performed by him – brilliant hits with a minimal set of tools and with maximum expressiveness.
The boy was born on December 16, 1932 in Moscow into a family of composer and music theory teacher Konstantin Shchedrin and economist, music lover Konkordiya Shchedrina (nee Ivanova). His first music teacher was the father.
The war prevented his studies at the conservatory. The boy twice tried to flee to the front, and his uncle, a high-ranking official, helped to return the fugitive. Then another mother’s brother took the family to Kuibyshev, where he worked as an assistant to Dmitry Shostakovich. The composer remembered that he had attended the rehearsal of his Seventh Symphony.
In 1955 Shchedrin graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. You know, his first major works were written in his early twenties.
More »

Siberian Bear – Denis Matsuev

Siberian Bear - Denis Matsuev

Siberian Bear – Denis Matsuev


Denis Matsuev is a Russian virtuoso pianist. By the way, he is People’s Artist of Russia (2011) and laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation (2009). Talented pianist was the winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998 in Moscow. Also he received the Dmitri Shostakovich Award in Music. His nickname is The Siberian Bear.
The boy was born on June 11, 1975 in Irkutsk, the Russian Federation. He was born into a family of musicians: his mother was a piano teacher, and his father was a well-known pianist and composer. His grandfather worked with a circus orchestra, where he played drums and percussion. The first music teacher of the future star was his grandmother Vera Albertovna.
In Irkutsk, Denis attended an art school and studied at the 11th Mayakovsky school, the oldest educational institution in the city. The first piano teacher was Lyubov Nikolaevna Sementsova. After school, an outstanding musician studied for some time at the Irkutsk Music College, but then continued his studies in the capital.
More »

Nikita Dzhigurda performed Gangnam Style

Nikita Dzhigurda

Nikita Dzhigurda


Renowned actor and showman Nikita Dzhigurda performed a famous dance by Korean singer PSY – Gangnam Style, in Red Square.
In his words, with this dance he has canceled the End of the World.
51-year-old actor, dressed only a Scottish kilt and a T-shirt, singing Opa Dzhigurda danced in the main square of the capital, next to the Kremlin gates and St. Basil’s Cathedral.
It was cold outside, but an idea was worth it)
Dzhigurda promised, if the video recording Opa Dzhigurda gathered 21,000 views before December 21, he would record the full Russian version. He was going to film the video in the barn with the pigs. This is Dzhigurda!
More »

Karina Koks, pop singer

Karina Koks, pop singer

Karina Koks, pop singer


Karina Koks is a former lead singer of one of the most popular bands in the country – Slivki. You know, the girl wanted to take part in the project with the music in the styles of R’n’B, Hip-Hop, Jazz. And together with her friends – professional dancer Ira and Dasha, she began to perform.
Karina Poroshkova (her real name) was born on December 20, 1981 in St. Petersburg. The girl studied at the university in the UK for five years and was going to become a lawyer. In Britain Karina fell in love with music. When she returned home, she decided to write songs and sing on the stage.
In St. Petersburg, Karina, along with like-minded people, formed the group Discovery, the distinctive feature of which was the performance of songs only in English. It was a starting point in her singing career.
Once after the concert Karina met producer Evgeny Orlov. Later Discovery signed a contract with Orlov and renamed the group Slivki and began to sing songs in Russian. The group released seven albums. The first album First Spring was released in 2001.
More »

Oly Danka, model and TV presenter

Oly Danka, model and TV presenter

Oly Danka, model and TV presenter

Oly Danka is a TV presenter of the program Stylistics on U channel, singer, model, and stylist.
Pretty girl was born on March 12, 1989 in Moscow. Her father is the professor and her mother is an engineer. Olya has a younger sister and a brother.
You know, the girl began to work as a model when she was 14 years old. Olya graduated from the Music school, took part in music competitions and festivals. But her main passion was TV.
For the first time Olya appeared on TV as a presenter of the program Your Doctor.
She graduated from the Medical University, School of Television and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
More »