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Biography of Nikolai Dobronravov: the life story of the composer, creativity and career, poetry, what made Alexandra Pakhmutova’s husband famous

Date: April 19, 2024 Time: 14:15:59

Nikolai Dobronravov

Photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN

“Music by Alexandra Pakhmutova, lyrics by Nikolai Dobronravov…” – this phrase was heard countless times in “Songs of the Year” and other Soviet concerts. The composer and the poet were inseparable. They married in 1956 and since then Nikolai Nikolaevich wrote lyrics for all of his infinitely talented wife’s songs. “He said, ‘Come on,’ he waved his hand…”, “How young we were, how sincerely we loved each other,” “The team of our youth, the team I can’t live without,” “Real men.” “He plays hockey, a coward doesn’t play hockey.” hockey”, “The Earth is empty without you, how will I live a few hours”, “Farewell, our loving Misha”, “And the battle continues again, and my heart is anxious in my chest”, “My homeland is Belarus”, “Hope is my earthly compass”… Hundreds of lines, without which Soviet art and the Soviet Union as such are unthinkable.

Nikolai Nikolaevich was born on November 22, 1928 in Leningrad. His father was arrested in 1937 and his mother soon went to prison. The boy left Leningrad shortly before the start of the blockade, in July 1941. He lived first in Nizhny Novgorod, then in the Moscow region, where he graduated from school. And then he entered the Moscow Art Theater School. He was madly in love with the theater, even at school he cut trees and sold firewood to earn money for tickets to the Moscow Art Theater, and then all his life he was terribly proud that Olga Knipper-Chekhova herself signed his diploma of action.

Then he received a second higher education, taught and graduated from the Moscow City Pedagogical Institute. But as a result, he became neither an artist nor a teacher (however, he starred in two now-forgotten films: “Sporting Honor” and “The Return of Vasily Bortnikov”). The poems defined his life; At first he wrote them, like all teenagers write, and then he took them seriously.

In the mid-50s, in the editorial office of the children’s station All-Union Radio, he met Pakhmutova. (Dobronravov got there because he wrote plays, fairy tales and dramatizations for radio programs). “Suddenly a miniature girl entered the room and they told me: “Here you have a very capable composer, why don’t you work with her?” The building of the House of Radio Broadcasting and Sound Recording, where we “We knew him, he remained sacred to Alexandra Nikolaevna and me for the rest of our lives.”

Alexandra Pakhmutova and Nikolai Dobronravov


Speaking about his marriage, Nikolai Nikolaevich liked to quote Saint-Exupéry: “Love does not mean looking at each other, but looking in the same direction.” Their songs were performed by dozens of Soviet singers, from Joseph Kobzon to Alexander Gradsky, from Lev Leshchenko to Muslim Magomayev, and this wonderful couple maintained friendly relations with everyone: almost no one could say a bad word about them. They were the standard of marriage and creative union.

One day Nikolai Nikolaevich was asked if he dedicated poems to his wife. He replied that he did not do it on purpose, but when the song “You are my melody, I am your devoted Orpheus” came out, everyone began to tell him: “Well, it is clear who you wrote this about…” (By the way, this poem was written by He wrote for two years, looking for the right lyrics for the melody created by his wife; there were many options, but he could not express in verse what was said in the music, “and the text is a translation of the language of music and must be a accurate translation”). Dobronravov confirmed this: behind many of his poems “there is an invisible image” of Alexandra Nikolaevna. Now she was left alone.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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