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Leonid Roizman (Organ, Piano)

Born: 1916 - Kiev, Russia
Died: 1989

The prominent Russian oraganist, pianist, music pedagogie and musicologist, Leonid Isaakovich [Isaakovič] Roizman [Rojzman, Rojizman, Royzman, Roisman], was a pupil of pianist Alexander Goldenweiser and Russian organ school founder Alexander Goedicke (a graduate of the piano and organ departments of Moscow Conservatory, correspondingly, from 1938 to 1941). He obtained Doctor of Arts degree.

Leonid Roizman was a key figure for domestic organ music of the 20th century. His aim was a balanced, noble and uplifting conversation with people. He was able to apply the organ for this goal; he was able to choose among the inexhaustible sound, coloristic and timbral possibilities of the instrument those sounds that were appropriate and indispensable.

Leonid Roizman had taught specialized piano, organ and harpsichord at the Moscow Conservatory since 1932. However, it was particularly the organ which became the central focus of his musical activities. He became the head of the Moscow Conservatory's organ department from Alexander Goedicke's death in 1957 to 1989. As Alexander Goedicke before him, Roizman applied much of his effort to teaching and brought up dozens of students. The great majority of the organists in Russia who now perform on the organ and teach it had studied with Roizman. Among his students of different years are the organists Rubin Abdullin. Elena Barchaï, Alexander Fiseisky, Natalia Gureyeva, Eteri Mgaloblishvili, Alexei Parshin, Alexei Semyonov Liubov Shishkhanova, Alexei Shmitov (Alexey Schmitov), Vladimir Tebenikhin, Oleg Yanchenko, and the pianist Mikhail Voskresensky, and Numerous other organists are Roizman's pedagogical “grandchildren” (the pupils of their pupils).

One cannot overestimate the input of Leonid Roizman into the art of organ performance in the former USSR. The result of his activities as the chairman of the Permanent Committee of Organ Construction (1958-1969) and since 1969 as the Deputy of the Council of Organ Construction of the Ministry for Culture of the USSR was the supplying with organs for dozens of cities and concert halls. Roizman was concerned with the broadening of the organ repertoire (he main his own arrangements of composers' works and encouraged the country's composers to write organ music). Numerous volumes of organ and clavier music, compiled by Roizman are examples of the highest quality of textological source-finding work. Among the musician's research work is the monographical book The Organ in the History of Russian Musical Culture, as well as editions of keyboard works by J.S. Bach, George Frideric Handel, not to mention piano sonatas by Haydn and piano concertos by Haydn, W.A. Mozart and Weber, etc., series of books, titled “Old Masters” and “Soviet Organ Music”. Roizman was a member of the international board of editors of the New Complete Works of J.S. Bach which is now being published in Germany. He was awarded Honored Artist of Russia,

Leonid Roizman recorded Organ Concerto by Tomaso Albinoni; Organ Works by J.S. Bach; Anthology of Russian piano works (Aleksandr Glazunov; Alexander Goedicke; Dmitri Shostakovich; V Kikta; I. Butsko Unfortunately, the art of Leonid Roizman in the present-day musical scene is not given enough of its due attention! Nonetheless, his recordings are remarkable for their flawlessness of taste, stylistic precision (moreover, a living type rather than a “museum” quality!), a coherence and harmonious quality in the whole and in parts. and, certainly, all the aforementioned qualities are manifested in the performance of the music of J.S. Bach.

Source: Bits & pieces fromn various sources
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (September 2013)

Leonid Roizman: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

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