Alexander & Irina Zhurbin & Ginzburg

Alexander & Irina Zhurbin & Ginzburg

Love story
Country: Russia

  1. Love Story
  2. Introduction
  3. The First Meeting
  4. Moscow Premiere

Love Story

Every couple has their own story. But theirs is special. Fate has given them so many meetings, events, and experiences that would be enough for a whole novel. He is Alexander Zhurbin, the composer and author of the first Soviet rock opera "Orpheus and Eurydice." She is Irina Ginzburg, the daughter of the famous publicist and translator Lev Ginzburg. For fifteen years, Ira has been living in New York with her husband and son Leo. There, she worked as a TV presenter on Russian-American TV and at some point decided to start writing memoirs. During one of her visits to Moscow, Ira gave "Atmosfera" excerpts from her book "Without Concessions" - along with the right to publish them for the first time.


On February 25, 1976, I briefly visited my parents. My dad asked me to go to the bakery and buy a cake to treat a composer from Leningrad named Zhurbin, who had set music to his translations of German folk ballads. My ears perked up. I had long wanted to write songs. I already had one, written together with the wonderful composer Eduard Kolmanovsky. It was called "Everything That Was, Has Passed." It was performed by Lyudmila Zykina.

The First Meeting

When I met her at the recording, she was very surprised that the author of the song was a young girl, not a mature "aunt" who had already experienced so much and had been through so much... (I always feel that the best is yet to come, and my heart is always open to joy...)

So, I went to open the door to my potential collaborator, but in the very first second, I realized that my future husband and the father of my son was standing at the door in a furry hat. It's hard to believe, but revelations have happened in my life before, and perhaps in a past life, I was a witch or sorceress, although the first one is closer to me... By the way, when I first found myself in Spain, I felt deep inside that it was here that I, the witch, was burned at the stake by the Inquisition. I say this half-jokingly, but it's not that simple...

It turned out that Zhurbin was not that simple either... After a long conversation with my father, he sat down at the piano, which my dad had bought a long time ago specifically for me. When Zhurbin began to play and sing, we were simply speechless. So much life emanated from him, so much brightness, energy, talent, and passion! With a noisy onslaught, pressing down on the keys, he played like a madman and his hoarse voice drowned out all the registers. It seemed like he himself experienced incredible pleasure from this, and looking at him, I became more and more convinced that he was exactly the person I needed. "I will have a child with him," I thought, without doubting that it would be a son, a boy who resembled Zhurbin.

In the kitchen, where we went to have tea, I read him my poems and new translations. Zhurbin listened to me very attentively, although he was in a hurry to catch a train - home, to Leningrad. At that time, I had no idea who he was. I was strictly a "literary" person - far from the world of music and show business.

It turned out that Zhurbin was also a big fan of German poetry (not by chance did he turn to German folk ballads) and literature, which immediately brought us together. It was clear that this "Leningrad composer" was not just a pop singer or a "slob."

My dad, a well-known joker, said goodbye to Zhurbin and suddenly nodded in my direction: "Sasha, steal my treasure from me. I will look away." To which Zhurbin replied quite seriously, "Lev Vladimirovich, I am deeply married." "Well, that's nothing," my dad reassured him. "A love marriage is not an obstacle..."

Moscow Premiere

The Moscow premiere of Zhurbin's rock opera "Orpheus and Eurydice" took place at the "Pravda" House of Culture on the snow-covered street of the same name not far from the "Dinamo" metro station. The cold was terrible, but the hall was packed. I had never been a theater enthusiast or a performer and had never attended such events before. However, as it turned out, there was nothing like this in Russia at that time, which created even more excitement.

I made my way through the crowd with my faithful friend Nadia, the only one who was initiated into my plan to "capture" composer Zhurbin.

"Well, Nadia, do you see?" I asked her every time we were asked for an extra ticket.

"Well, I see," she grumbled unhappily, and I didn't know what to be happy about. Everything that was happening around me had nothing to do with me. And yet, at this "celebration of life," I was not just a spectator.

The author himself, composer Zhurbin, who even made the strict and experienced ticket takers gaze at him with admiration, was waiting for us at the entrance. Rushing, but with a wide smile, he hugged me and Nadya, and to avoid standing in line at the cloakroom, he led us to the administrator's office, where a crowd of celebrities had already gathered, including Mikael Tariverdiev, Mark Fradkin, and many other familiar faces from television. But it was clear that Zhurbin was the most important and the most significant person there - like a "star boy."

"Well, Nadia, do you see?" I asked when we sat in the center of the hall on honorary seats. But Nadia, with a disgruntled look, muttered that we had made a terrible mistake by not checking our things at the cloakroom and just throwing them into the general administrator's pile. It seemed that my personal life interested her less than the fate of her luxurious foreign currency fur hat. "Someone will steal it right here and now," she said unhappily. We stared at the stage. The curtain rose, and the young and beautiful Ponar