VARIATIONS ON THE THEME GALINA USTVOLSKAYA

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By Semyon Bokman

About the Book

Format Dimensions Pages
Softcover 6x9 244

There is neither in the music history nor in the history of art such a closed and contradictory composer and creator as Galina Ustvolskaya. The music of Galina Ustvolskaya (excepting commissioned works written not for internal reasons but for necessity) is a kind of mysterious ritual. What is her music about? What ideas dominate it? Ustvolskaya’s music art is not big in volume, but with a huge degree of tension, it has concentrated the main ideological problems and contradictions of our time. What is culture? What is spirituality? What is the role of art in life? Do we need them? Is it possible to exclude these phenomena and concepts from our being? And why is our era passing away? The book is full of allusions. This is a kind of deductive method, with the help of which the author tries to understand and explain the talented composer who is a drop of water in an ocean reflecting the leading trends and tendencies of twentieth-century art.

About the Author

Semyon Bokman, talented composer, poet and writer, was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1950. In 1974 he graduated from Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music, S.-Petersburg (then Leningrad) where his composition teacher was Galina Ustvolskaya, former pupil of Dmitry Shostakovich, and his piano teacher was Gennady Baumsteyn.

Mr. Bokman has been living in the United States since 1998. He teaches piano and composition; composes music and writes poetry and prose. A collection of his poems in Russian On the Edge of the Universe was published in Baltimore, MD in 2006.
The first edition of the book about Ustvolskaya was published in English in Berlin, Germany in January 2007 with the title Variations On the Theme 'Galina Ustvolskaya'. This book garnered interesting reviews in German, Belgian and English Oxford musical magazines. (The book is no longer in print because the publisher has ceased to operate).

Mr. Bokman is a member of NACUSA, (The National Association of Composers USA), The ASCAP Foundation, (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), and is a member of American Music Teacher Association.
Mr. Bokman received awards from ASCAP in 2007, 2008 and 2009 for composer’s activity.