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 Valentin Berlinsky

Born:   19 January, 1925
Deceased:   15 December 2008

musician (cellist)


Valentin Berlinsky stands out in contemporary Russian music performing art as a guru of quartet realm, a professor and mentor, a key figure of all quartet contests, and a live personification of the idea of succession. Never performing as a soloist and always providing only one, the “lowest” storey of the quartet construction, nevertheless, in each program he has had a few precious minutes of his subtle solo.

Valentin Berlinsky is the permanent cellist and a founder of the famed Borodin Quartet, a unique phenomenon in the history of Russian music culture. The musicians of the quartet excel in splendid performing skill and exceptional creative longevity (the quartet was founded in 1945, during the war time), which has even been noted in the Guinness Book of World Records. Creative activity of Borodin Quartet and Berlinsky has long been acknowledged and many times distinguished with honorary titles, orders and awards.

Valentin Berlinsky Valentin Alexandrovich Berlinsky was born in Irkutsk city on 19 January 1925. As a child he learned playing the violin from his father, a student of Leopold Auer. In Moscow he graduated from the Central Music School (1941), then Moscow Conservatoire (1947) and the post-graduate course at the Gnesins’ State Music Teaching Institute (1952) for the cello, taught by Semion Kozolupov. In 1944 he was one of the founders of a student string quartet, which joined Moscow Philharmonics in 1946, was named Aleksandr Borodin Quartet in 1955 and later became one of the leading national chamber ensembles.

Berlinsky is the only member of the quartet to have played in it since its foundation and is deservedly its leader.

From 1947 Berlinsky taught the cello and chamber ensemble at the Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov Music College and from 1970 at the Russian Gnesins’ Music Academy. He has brought up a whole range of quartet collectives.

Borodin Quartet As time went by Borodin Quartet turned into a paragon and a live monument to itself, with the carved down names of outstanding composers, partners (Sviatoslav Richter first of all), and touring places (covering the world map). In the course of their joint activity the musicians have given over five thousand concerts. To perceive the quartet’s significance for Russian culture, it is enough to remember that the nation’s best composers, including Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Moisey Vainberg, Edison Denisov, and Alfred Schnittke made music specially for it. It was not by chance that the quartet collaborated with such legendary musicians as Konstantin Igumnov and Heinrich Neuhaus, Aleksandr Goldenveizer and Maria Yudina, David Oistrakh and Lev Oborin.

Valentin Berlinsky Since 2001 Berlinsky has been the President of the Charity Fund of Borodin Quartet which supports young gifted musicians. The fund released the first in the world double DVD album, with all the information on the collective, as well as workshops.

Alexandr Berlinsky is also Chairman of the Trustee Committee of the “Russian Performing Art” Fund. The fund is aimed at keeping up and developing traditions of Russian music performing school.

“Borodin Quartet will exist while the Earth exists”, asserts Alexandr Berlinsky who celebrated his 80th jubilee in January 2005.




Tags: Russian music Russian musicians Valentin Berlinsky   

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