Zara Levina

Internet Edition compiled by Onno van Rijen

Updated 31 March 2002


5 February 1906 in Simferopol (Crimea). Died 27 June 1976 in Moscow.


Levina graduated with a gold medal from the Odessa Conservatory, where she studied piano under B. Dronseiko-Mironovich. In 1932 she graduated from the Moscow Conservatory having studied piano under F. Blumenfeld and composition under N. Miaskovsky and R. Gliere.


In het young days in Odessa she was overwhelmed by music of Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Prokofiev as well as Beethoven and Schumann. Their influence can be traced throughout all of her works. Her gift was primarily melodical, lyrical and deeply personal. The nucleus of he creative output has been vocal music - namely romances (more than 200) followed by vocal miniatures about children. In the 1930s heroic and passionate monologues have been her natural choice. Light music extended the range of her output in the late 1940s and children's music was always a central concern. A spirit of patriotism is present in her tragic monologues of the war years and in the severe and mournful romances on African poetry that she composed during the 1960s. Her melodies are simple, but their individuality is achieved through fine detail, delicate harmony, supple modulation and varied texture.

Principal Works

Two pianoconcertos, chamber music and vocal music.


Thanks to Valentina Tchemberdji (daughter of Zara Levina) and Jim Semadeni from the US for additional information.

Please send your comments

Return to Onno van Rijen's Soviet Composer's Page

Return to Onno van Rijen's Home Page