Levina, Zara Aleksandrovna
- Olga Manulkina
(b Simferopol′, 23 Jan/Feb 5, 1906; d Moscow, June 27, 1976). Russian composer and pianist. She studied the piano with D.B. Dronseyko-Mironovich at the Odessa Conservatory, graduating in 1923, and from 1925 to 1930 attended the Moscow Conservatory, where her teachers were Glière, Myaskovsky (composition) and Blumenfeld (piano). Levina participated in Procol, the production collective of conservatory students, and, until 1931, as a devotee of the ideas of the Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians she composed songs and marches. She organized the Children's Music Committee of the Composers' Union of the USSR and was its chairman from 1943 to 1947, working with Kabalevsky on children's education.
Although Levina wrote some large-scale compositions, she was first and foremost a master of the romance and of children's songs. Her finest love songs together with the reflective monologues on the poems of O. Shiraz, S. Kaputikyan and E. Moshkovskaya were written in the 1950s and 60s. Earlier, in the atmosphere of the 1930s, she composed heroic and passionate monologues, adopting a spirit of patriotism. Her melodies are simple, but their individuality is achieved through fine detail, delicate harmony, supple modulation and varied texture....