Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (25 September 1906 – 9 August 1975) was a Russian composer of the Soviet period and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century. Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Leon Trotsky's chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the Stalinist bureaucracy. His music was officially denounced twice, in 1936 and 1948, and was periodically banned.
Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski (17 January 1863 – 7 August 1938), was a Russian actor and theatre director. His innovative contribution to modern European and American realistic acting has remained at the core of mainstream western performance training for much of the last century.
Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter was a Soviet and Russian virtuoso pianist well known for the depth of his interpretations, virtuoso technique, and vast repertoire. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.
David Fyodorovich Oistrakh was a Jewish-Soviet violin master and virtuoso who made many recordings and was the dedicatee of numerous violin works. His recordings and performances of Shostakovich's concerti are particularly well known, but he was also a performer of classical concerti. He worked with orchestras in Russia, and also with musicians in Europe and the United States. The violin concerto of Aram Khachaturian is dedicated to him, as are the two violin concerti by Dmitri Shostakovich.
Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich KBE (March 27, 1927 – April 27, 2007), known to close friends as “Slava,” was a Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor. He was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. He is widely considered to have been one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century, and is considered by some of his peers to have been the greatest cellist of all time.
Solomon (Shloyme) Mikhoels Yiddish: שלמה מיכאָעלס; Russian: Соломон Михайлович Михоэлс (Вовси) (16 March 1890 - January 12/13, 1948) was a Soviet Jewish actor and the artistic director of the Moscow State Jewish Theater. Mikhoels served as the chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee during the Second World War.
Tikhon Nikolayevich Khrennikov (June 10 1913 – 14 August, 2007) was a Russian and Soviet composer, pianist, leader of the Union of Soviet Composers, and film actor, who was also known for his political activities. He wrote three symphonies, four piano concertos, two violin concertos, two cello concertos, operas, operettas, ballets, chamber music, incidental music and film music.
Vsevolod Illarionovich Pudovkin (16 February 1893 – 20 June 1953) was a Russian film director, screenwriter and actor who developed influential theories of montage. Pudovkin's masterpieces are often contrasted with those of his contemporary Sergei Eisenstein, but whereas Eisenstein utilized montage to glorify the power of the masses, Pudovkin preferred to concentrate on the courage and resilience of individuals.
Reinhold Moritzevich Glière (11 January 1875 – 23 June 1956) was a Ukrainian Soviet composer of German-Polish descent. Glière was the second son of the wind instrument maker Ernst Moritz Glier (1834-1896) from Saxony, who emigrated to Kiev and married Józefa (Josephine) Korczak (1849-1935), the daughter of his master, from Warsaw. His original name, as given in his baptism certificate, was Reinhold Ernst Glier .
Regimantas Adomaitis (born January 31, 1937 in Šiauliai) is a Lithuanian movie and stage actor. He graduated from the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics at Vilnius University. Later he studied in Vilnius Conservatoire. He has played myriad momentous parts and is renowned not only in Lithuania, but also in Russia, Germany, and other foreign countries. Regimantas Adomaitis has received many awards of recognition.
Gustav Ernesaks was an Estonian composer and a choir conductor. He played an integral role in the Singing Revolution and was one of the father figures of the Estonian Song Festival tradition; one of his songs, set to Lydia Koidula's poem Mu isamaa on minu arm, became an unofficial national anthem during the years of Soviet occupation; ironically, he was also the composer of the Anthem of Estonian SSR used between 1945 and 1990.
Vyacheslav Vasilyevich Tikhonov was a Soviet and Russian actor whose best known role was as Soviet spy Stirlitz in the television series Seventeen Moments of Spring. He was a recipient of numerous state awards, including the titles of People's Artist of the USSR (1974) and Hero of Socialist Labour (1982).
Lyubov Petrovna Orlova, was the first recognized star of Soviet cinema, famous theatre actress and a gifted singer. She was born to a middle class family in Zvenigorod near Moscow and grew up in Yaroslavl. When she was seven, Fyodor Shalyapin predicted her future as a famous actress. Orlova studied in Moscow Conservatory but did not graduate because she had to work to support her parents. Her first husband, a Soviet economist Andrei Berzin, was arrested in 1930.
Rashid Behbudov (December 14, 1915 – June 9, 1989) was an Azerbaijani singer and actor. He sang in Azerbaijani, Russian, Persian, Turkish, Hindi, Armenian, Urdu and Bengali among other languages. Rashid Behbudov was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1915. His father, Majid Behbudov was a singer as well. In 1938 - 1944, Rashid worked at Yerevan State Philharmonia and Opera House, and in 1945, upon the invitation of Tofig Guliyev, Rashid Behbudov moved to Baku.