Nazib Zhiganov

Nazib Gajazovich Zhiganov was born on January 15th, 1911, in the city of Uralsk (currently the Republic of Kazakhstan). He was deserted at an early age and was brought up in a children's home. In 1928, he arrived in Kazan. He taught himself to play Piano. In 1929, he became a student at the Kazan Musical School, which opened its doors in 1904. In 1931, according to the advice of the composer A. S. Klucharev, he went to Moscow where he attended musical technical school at the Moscow Conservatory until 1935, finishing his third year. His First Symphony was played in 1937, at the opening of the State Philharmonic Society (ТАССР), the first Tatar composition in this genre. When he finished at the conservatory in 1938, Zhiganov returned to Kazan. In 1943, he was appointed the art director of the Tatar Opera and Ballet Theatre. His thesis composition, the opera Fugitive, was played at the same theatre’s opening in 1939. In 1944, Zhiganov was offered the opportunity by the Tatar Ministerial Council (АССР) to create the Kazan Conservatory. Under the order of the Sovnarkom of the USSR, on April 13th, 1945, the Kazan State Conservatory was created. In June of 1945, Zhiganov was appointed its director. He served as rector for the conservatory more than forty years, before his sudden death in 1988 in Ufa, after a concert of the new edition of the opera, Jalil. From 1939 to 1977, Zhiganov headed the Tatar Union of Composers (АССР). Zhiganov was one of the founders of professional Tatar musical art. Practically all the current functioning establishments and organisations of musical culture in Tatarstan (the Kazan Conservatory is now an academy), the Tatar Opera and Ballet Theatre, the State Symphonic Orchestra, the Union of Composers of the Republic, and the Specialty Music School (now the Lycée at the conservatory) were created with his direct participation. He is the author of eight operas, three ballets, and many symphonies and chamber compositions. His work harmoniously combines the national colours and traditions of both Russian and European musical heritage. He was buried on June 2, 1988, at Arsky Cemetery in Kazan. In 2001, the Kazan State Conservatory was named after Zhiganov. In 2001, in the house where the composer spent his last eighteen years, his diligent widow, Nina Zhiganova, with the assistance of the President of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaymiev, opened a memorial museum in the apartment of Nazib Zhiganov. In June of 2006, a board for the museum memorial was established.

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