Dunaevsky, Isaac


Dunaevsky is a classic of the Soviet musical comedy, the author of many popular songs of the 30-50's. His creative work gained truly recognition. His cheerful merry melodies helped to live, to build a renovated society, they accompanied recreating and learning.

Isaac Osipovich Dunaevsky was born on January 30, 1900 in Lokhvitsa, Poltava province. At the age of six, he learned to play piano. Two years later, a violin teacher was invited to him. When the boy was ten years old, he left for Kharkov. There he entered the gymnasium and musical school, then studied in the Conservatory (violin and composition classes) and at the law faculty of Kharkov University.

The dynamic character of the young musician showed itself when he graduated from the conservatory. He collaborated in newspaper, organized music clubs and studios in the clubs, lectured at the people's University, headed the music sector of the provincial Department of public education, he served as a violinist-choirmaster, and then as a conductor in the orchestra of Kharkov drama theater. Dunaevsky also created music for the performances that were on the stage of the local theater.

Since 1924, Dunaevsky lived in Moscow and continued his theatrical work. He headed the musical department in the Unconventional theater "Hermitage”, in the Russian Drama Korsh Theatre, wrote music for dramas and one-act ballets; he created music for musical comedies. The composer wrote music for the operetta "The Bridegrooms" (1927), which became one of the first Soviet musical comedies. In subsequent years, Dunaevsky created several operettas more: "The Knives" (1928), "Polar Passions" (1929), "A Million of spiritual torments " (1932), "Golden Valley" (1937), "Paths to Happiness" (1941).

 The 30’ was the heyday of Dunaevsky creativity. Movies with his music appeared one after another: “Jolly fellows”, "Three Comrades", "The Goalkeeper", "Circus", "The Children of Captain Grant ", "The Seekers of Happiness", "Concert by Beethoven", "Rich Bride", "Volga-Volga", "Bright Path”. Songs from those films - “Kakhovka”, “March of Tractor-drivers”, “The Athletes March”, “Oh, it is Good”, “By Wide Path”, “March of Enthusiasts”, “Song about the Motherland” – became widely popular.

It is important to note that Dunaevsky was the innovator in music; he raised the cinema composer’s significance to the unprecedented level.

During the great Patriotic War Isaac Osipovich headed Song and Dance Ensemble of the Central House of Culture of Railway men. The ensemble performed in different towns and in the front-line military units. His new songs – "Forward, against the enemy, for the Homeland”, "My Moscow", "Song of Girls-Fighters", "Two girlfriends” gained popularity.

In the postwar years, the composer continued to work on large-scale pieces, created several operettas, and writes music for new films. His concert activity gained large scale.

In the creative heritage of Dunaevsky - Music for twenty films, fifteen operettas, a large number of popular songs comprise the composer the creative heritage.

Cited from: L. Mikheeva, A. Orelovich. "In the world of operetta”. Leningrad. "Soviet composer". 1982