“I am that place where east and west meet,” Sofia Gubaidulina said to describe her stance in a number of different ways. She was born in 1931 in, what is today, the Republic of Tatarstan and received her musical education in the capital city of Kazan, but from 1954, she studied at the Moscow Conservatory. Oriental influences can often be discerned in her musical idiom, but the most important schooling she received was Russian and her greatest sources of inspiration are J. S. Bach and Anton Webern.
Sofia Gubaidulina wants her music to bring cohesion to our fragmented world. She is a deeply devout Christian and has always striven for the spiritual dimension in her music – a dimension revealed through mysticism and Christian symbolism, but which can also emerge from the interplay between ancient Egyptian and Persian texts and present day Russian poetry. Contact with her audience is essential and for Sofia Gubaidulina, creating a work of art demands three active parties: the composer, the artist and the audience. And indeed, many are they who have been drawn to and fascinated by her intense and personal musical idiom in which meditation and serenity also have important parts to play.
Important works from a catalogue of many important works:
“Offertorium”, violin concerto (1980), “Stimmen… verstummen…”, symphony (1986), viola concerto (1996) and “St. John’s Passion” (2000).
Compiled by Daniel Börtz