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Zara Levina


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Zara Aleksandrovna Levina (Russian: Зара Александровна Левина; born February 5 (O.S. January 25), 1906, in Simferopol, Russian Empire – June 27, 1976, in Moscow) was a Soviet pianist and composer.

She was from a Jewish family. Zara Levina studied piano in the Odessa Conservatory, which she passed with a gold medal. She graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1932, where she had studied piano and composition.

In her early age, Zara Levina admired the composers Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Beethoven and Schumann. She mainly wrote choral works (mostly romances, then children's songs) and, besides, also other vocal music, as well as two piano concertos and solo piano works. The inspiration of those five composers is evident throughout her works. Both of her piano concertos have been recorded, as has her 1928 first violin sonata (by David Oistrakh). She was married to the composer Nikolai Chemberdzhi (1903–1948). Her grandson is the pianist Alexander Melnikov. Her granddaughter is the pianist and composer Katia Tchemberdji.

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