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Russian classical organ player Garri Grodberg dies in Moscow aged 87

November 10, 2016, 20:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Grodberg was the founder of the Russian/Soviet school of organ music

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Garri Grodberg

Garri Grodberg

© Vladimir Komarov/TASS

MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. Russian organ player Garri Grodberg who won recognition in the former Soviet Union and abroad for his interpretations of Bach and Handel died in Moscow on Thursday at the age of 87, the press service of Moscow Conservatory said.

"Garri Grodberg has died in the 88th year of life," it said.

He was born in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and lived in Klaipeda and Kaunas until the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. In 1955, he graduated from Moscow Conservatory where he majored in piano and organ playing.

Grodberg was the disciple of two outstanding Russian musicians - pianist Alexander Goldenweiser and Alexander Goedicke, the founder of the Russian/Soviet school of organ music.

For many years, his chaired the Organ Music Board at the Soviet Ministry of Culture. His efforts to promote the art of organ playing resulted in a sizable increase in the number of organ halls across the USSR.

One of the organs was installed at the end of the 1950’s at Moscow’s grandiose Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.

Grodberg was known in many countries thanks to top-rated recordings made specially for the Melodiya recording company and at live concerts in the Dome Cathedral in Riga. He was an honorary member of Bach and Handel societies in Germany.

Over the decades of his career, he performed together with the grand maestros like Mstislav Rostropovich, Yevgeny Mravinsky, and Kirill Kondrashin.

In post-Perestroika years, Grodberg founded a Bach festival in the city of Tver to the northwest of Moscow. It has now turned into an annual cultural event.

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