If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?

Pirkey Avot 1:13

Vyacheslav Ganelin - biography

Vyacheslav "Slava" Ganelin (Hebrew: סלבה גנלין‎, Lithuanian: Viačeslavas Ganelinas, Russian: Вячеслав Шевелевич Гане́лин Vjačeslav Ševelevič Ganélin; born 17 December 1944, in Kraskovo near Moscow) is a Lithuanian Jewish jazz musician and composer. Primarily a pianist, he also plays other keyboards (organ and synthesizer) as well as bass, guitar, and percussions. He was the leader of the Ganelin Trio, described by critic Chris Kelsey as "arguably the world's greatest free jazz ensemble" of the 1970s and '80s.


In 1948 his family moved to Lithuania, where he learned to play piano in the music school, and later at the Vilnius Conservatory where he graduated in 1968. In 1961 he debuted as jazz pianist in a concert, after partial cultural liberalization under the rule of Nikita Khrushchev.


Together with percussionist and drummer Vladimir Tarasov and saxophonist Vladimir Chekasin he formed the Ganelin Trio in 1970-1971 , which achieved critical acclaim in Soviet Union and abroad. The trio performed together until 1987, when Vyacheslav Ganelin emigrated to Israel.

Vyacheslav Ganelin is continuing his solo career, playing with various artists including Petras Vyšniauskas, Arkadiy Gotesman, and Klaus Kugel.

As a composer Ganelin wrote music for movies, including the Devil's Bride, and worked with many film directors, including Vadim Abdrashitov.

Article author: Zipora Galitski
Article tags: biography
The article is about these people:   Vyacheslav Ganelin

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