Georgy Firtich (1938-2016) is one of the most original and versatile contemporary St. Petersburg composers. The graduate of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory (Rimsky-Korsakov), where he studied under the tutelage of Iury Baklashin and Boris Arapov, Georgy Firtich is well known to the wide Russian audience as an author of music for over seventy popular films and animated features. Starting from the early 1960s he wrote numerous compositions in popular genre including songs and instrumental compositions for jazz orchestras of radio and television. For jazz aficionados Firtich was also a jazz pianist, improviser and arranger.
However, his professional peers and true connoisseurs of contemporary music know Georgy Firtich as composer of operas, ballets, symphonic and chamber works, oratorios, cantatas, and piano sonatas as well as numerous vocal cycles. In all the genres that Georgy Firtich mastered, his compositions are always provocative and sometimes even shocking, taking the listener on a new twist of musical adventure, developing further the avant-garde musical idiom to which Georgy Firtich continued to make original contributions throughout his career.
In words of his friend and fellow composer Sergei Slonimsky: “Georgy Firtich in not among those composers who become more moderate with age and somewhat more “academic,” departing from the experimental spirit of their youth. On the contrary, the native traditions of Russian Futurism, of the Russian avant-garde, continue to find their striking and brilliant reincarnations in the music of Georgy Firtich, whose creative energy is inexhaustible.”
Georgy Firtich left a rich musical heritage that continues to inspire performers of all ages. Composer’s major project, destined to be his last, was the musical mystery based on the symbolist novel by Andrei Bely (1880-1934) Petersburg (1913) entitled “Bely. Petersburg”, which premiered in St. Petersburg’s Theatre of Musical Comedy on September 9, 2015. The sheer energy, musical versatility and imagination of that work testify to the composer’s unbending creative spirit.