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Isaac Dunaevsky is considered to be a classic of the Soviet operetta and the best of the masters of the Soviet mass song. Known even after more than half a century, the hits “My country is wide, my heart,” “Heart, you do not want peace …”, “Oh, viburnum is blooming …”, “What you were, remained so …” – belong to Isaac Dunaevsky. In addition to songs, the composer has written more than a dozen operettas and ballets, as well as music for many films. Dunaevsky possessed a unique melodic gift, and his light music was perfectly combined with the symphonic genre.

Young talent
Isaac Osipovich was born in the Ukrainian town of Lokhvitsa in the Poltava region on January 30, 1900. His father was a wealthy bank employee, who also had his own fruit water company.

From early childhood, Isaac showed outstanding musical abilities. By the way, out of six children – five sons and a daughter – everyone connected their future with music, except for their daughter, who chose the work of a physics teacher. In Lokhvitsa, Dunaevsky received his primary musical education.

When the family moved to Kharkov in 1910, Isaac was sent to study simultaneously at the composer Isaac Dunaevsky gymnasium, which he graduated with a gold medal, and at the conservatory – for violin and composition classes. After that, he studied at the law faculty of the university.

At 16, Dunya, as his friends called him, fell in love for the first time. The drama of the heart was the theater star of Kharkov, Evgenia Leontovich. But the love drama was ahead. His first true love was actress Vera Yureneva. When he was 19, she was already over 40, but the woman quickly lost interest in a Jewish boy musician who recited her Song of Songs by heart. Not only did the actress have a husband, she simultaneously had several novels. With grief, the young musician married an unloved woman, a university student. This marriage did not last long.

To work with the head
After graduating from the conservatory, Isaac Dunaevsky got into the orchestra of the Kharkov Russian Drama Theater, where he was attracted by the director of the Sinelnikov Theater, who invited the newcomer to write music for one of the composer Isaac Dunaevsky. The composing debut of the young violinist was very successful.

After some time he was appointed head of the musical part, here he tried himself in the role of conductor. Until his departure to Moscow, he worked for Sinelnikov. In the theater he met young Shulzhenko. Two girls from Kharkov, Klava and Mila came to “enter the actress.” Sinelnikov, who at that time had the glory of a theatrical god, laughed, but agreed to listen to the girls. The director exclaimed: “Dunya, play along!”. To Claudia’s amazement, a young man of short stature came out to the instrument. Under his accompaniment, she gave on the mountain her modest repertoire at that time and was enrolled in the chorus.

Isaac Dunaevsky and cinema
In 1924, Dunaevsky came to Moscow, where he worked for two years in the variety theater “Hermitage”, then moved to the theater of satire. In the capital, he met ballerina Zinaida Sudeikina. Then it turned out that she was a Kharkov noblewoman. A year later, Isaac and Zinaida got married, and soon their son Eugene was born.

In 1929, the composer was invited to work in the Music Hall pop theater, which had just opened in Leningrad. The musician moved to the northern capital with substantial baggage: operettas, ballets, music for performances. Thanks to the music hall, Dunaevsky’s collaboration with Leonid Utesov began, which culminated in the creation of the musical comedy “Funny Guys”. The film was directed by Grigory Alexandrov, who was recommended by Dunaevsky and who later always preferred to work with this particular musician.

composer Isaac DunaevskyLove Orlova in the film “Funny Guys”
Leonid Utesov, who was invited to the Cheerful Guys for the lead role, immediately set the condition: it was Dunya who wrote the music for the film – only then he, Ledik, would be removed.

Dunaevsky had to torment himself, he was reproached for plagiarism, imitation of Hollywood and the West as a whole, but as a result, work on “Jolly Fellows” elevated the composer to Everest not only in the profession, but also in public life. The film with great success went around all the screens of the country, visited the Venice film festival – then the first Soviet comedy came out on the world screen, and the works about the song, “which helps build and live,” and the heart, which “do not want peace,” were sung in all cities of the Soviet Union. The “Merry Guys” was followed by the “Circus” and “Volga-Volga”, “Spring” and many other, equally win-win.

How many good girls … in the life of Isaac Dunaevsky
composer Isaac Dunaevsky, Maxim Dunaevsky
The official marriage did not stop Isaac Dunaevsky falling in love again and again. He was strongly and permanently carried away by the dancer Natalya Gayarina. In addition, the subject of his passion was the most popular actress Lidia Smirnova. Their romance began after the filming of the film “My Love”, in which the actress played a major role. The composer in love did not skimp on the manifestations of feelings.

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