EFREM PODGAITS / biography


Efrem Podgaits (Moscow) was born in 1949. In 1974, he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in composition (in the class of Yuri Bucko and Nicolai Sidel’nikov). Since 1978, he has been a member of the Russian Union of Composers. From 1982-1990, he was director of the artistic association «Composers and Children». In 2000, he was awarded the title of Merited Propagator of the Arts of Russia.

Podgaits’s works include 14 operas (in particular, «Alice through the Looking-glass» and «The Prince and the Pauper», staged in St.Petersburg and in Moscow, «Dyuimovockha» («Thumbolina») staged in Moscow and Krasnodar, won the «grand-prix» in 2001 for the best children’s performance and continues to run, with great success, at the N.I. Satz Childrens’ Musical Theatre ; «Lord of the flies» ( the N.I. Satz Childrens’ Musical Theatre,2007); «Ice-9» (after С.Vonnegut «Сat’s cradle»), «Fallen angel» (after J.Сollier), «The Little Prince» (after Antoine de Saint-Exupery), «Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep» (after G.Andersen); ballet «Moidodyr» (Moscow, Bolshoy theatre, 2012).

4 ballets, 4 symphonies; 46 concerti for different instruments and orchestra, including, for the first time in Russia, a Concerto for harpsichord and orchestra, the «Lambada-Concerto» for oboe and orchestra, as well as one of the most significant works of the past years - a Triple Concerto for violin, cello, piano and orchestra.

The music of E. Podgaits has regularly been performed at musical festivals and competitions in Russia and abroad, including in: Great-Britain (notably at the festival of contemporary music in Huddersfield) in Turkey, Hungary, Switzerland, France, Japan, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Tadzhikistan, Georgia, as well as in Italy (Arezzo), where the children’s choir «Vesna» was awarded «grand prix» in 1992 for its rendering of Podgaits’ «Vremena Goda» («The Seasons»).

Concerts dedicated to Podgaits’ works have been given in Moscow, Kiev, Berlin, as well as in the towns of Chelyabinsk, Samara, Ufa and Dushanbe. Many of the composer’s works are by now compulsory pieces in the programmes of major international competitions.

The recording company «Melodiya» has put out a series of recordings of Podgaits’s chamber music, as well as a record of his works containing the Cantata «How to draw a bird» and «Poetry of the Earth». The French company «Opus 111» released a CD with his «Missa Veris» («Spring Mass») for organ and children’s choir, as well as a CD of his «Vox Spiritualis».

In 1999, a CD was released in Ekaterininburg with a recording of Podgaits’s «Bakhchiev-Concerto» for 4-hand piano and strings, performed by the well-known piano duo group - Yelena Sorokina and Alexander Bakhchiev. The Moscow company «Artservice» released 4 CD with symphonic , choral and chamber music.

The music publishers «Muzyka» and «Kompozitor» have been responsible for editing the major part of Podgaits’s compositions.

In the autumn of 1999, a festival in honor of the composer’s 50 th anniversary was held in Moscow, St.Petersburg and Krasnodar. A broad spectrum of his music was performed, including three of Podgaits’s operas and five diversified concerts of symphonic, choral, chamber-instrumental and vocal music. All these concerts met with great success.

Music for children occupies a special place within the musical universe of Podgaits. His Cantatas «How to draw a bird», «The Lunar Reed-Pipe», his «Poetry of the Earth» , his opera-cantata «Black Whirlpool» , his Concerto for choir and piano, «The Seasons», his «Missa Veris» for choir and organ (as beautifully performed by the «Vesna» Children’s Choir, under the direction of A.Ponomarev), are famous in Russia and abroad, and have brought the composer due acknowledgement.

In 2001 three large compositions which premieres were held in 2002 were written: «Lips-concerto » for bayan and a symphonic orchestra (soloist - Friedrich Lips), the Concerto for guitar and string (soloist - Gony Antigony, USA) and «New York Mass».

The Russian monthly «The Musical Review» named E.Podgaits «Сomposer of the Year 2002».

In May 2003 in France was held the premiere of composition «POST FESTUM» for an orchestra of the violoncelloes, written under the request of M.Rostropovich.

In July 2005 in London was held the premiere of the Second Symphony (LSO.Conductor - M. Rostropovich)

In 2006 took place Podgaits’s debut as a conductor. It was performing in Paris of his Double Concerto for two violins and chamber orchestra.

E.Podgaits’s compositions sounded in performance of famous musicians. Among them conductors: M.Rostropovich, M.Pletnev, Vl. Yurovsky, S.Sоndetskis, V.Sinajsky, R.Kofman, V.Polyansky, J.Nikolaevsky, V.Pon'kin,

Soloists: J.Bashmet, F.Lips, M.Sekler, L.Ambartsumjan, A.Brusilovsky, J.Milkis, L.Kazarnovskaja , and others.

In 2008 Efrem Podgaits has won the main prize of competition of the Bolshoy theatre and the Union of theatrical figures of Russia. In 2012 his ballet «Moidodyr» was staged at the Bolshoy theatre.