Grigory Korchmar (born in 1947) got his higher musical education at the Leningrad (St Petersburg) State Conservatoire. His teachers were Vadim Salmanov (composition) and Pavel Serebryakov (piano). Being a man of different gifts, Korchmar uses to combine adjacent musical activities. The composer Korchmar performs solo and ensemble programmes, working as a pianist and clavecinist at the chamber ensemble «St Petersburg Soloists». His musicologic activity (articles, annotations, lectureship in Russia, USA, countries of Europe and Asia) pours to the pedagogical one quite naturally, for Korchmar is the professor of Gertsen Pedagogical University, conducting master-classes everywhere. Having revealed his talent for organization as the art director of the international festival “Musical Spring”, Korchmar carries on social work as the vice-president of St Petersburg Composers’ Union. His contributions to the musical culture of Russia made him to be given the honourable name of the Russian Federation Art Worker and the St Petersburg government prize.
Grigory Korchmar is the author of 140 compositions of different genres, embracing theatre, symphonic, choral, vocal and chamber instrumental ones. His creation includes the works for all ages and instrumental casts, so as the transcriptions of the other composers’ pieces. Korchmar holds on author’s concerts in St Petersburg, Moscow and other cultural centres of different countries (New-York, Boston, Hartford, Berlin, K?ln, Tokyo, Jerusalim). Korchmar’s symphonic and chamber compositions are very often performed at the most prestigeous festivals in Russia, USA, European countries (Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Slovakia), Asian countries (Republic of Korea, Japan, Turkey, Israel). Many of the compositions by Grigory Korchmar were published by various native and foreign publishing houses. Some of them were recorded to the CDs. Among his works’ performers there are such widely known groups as symphony orchestras of St Petersburg and Moscow Philharmonic Societies, St Petersburg Choral Kapelle, chamber orchestras of Germany and Belgium, chamber orchestras “Moscow Soloists” and “Petersburg Soloists”, so as many remarkable musicians — conductors M. Janssons, A. Dmitriev, V. Chernushenko, R. Martynov, J. Silverstein, J.-P. Deussy, G. Rinkyavichus, organist W. Stokmeyer, viola player Yu. Bashmet, cellist B. Pergamenshchikov, singer T. Pavlovskaya...
I always had passion for Prokofiev’s music, irrespective of its genres and complication. That could be the Gavotte from “Classical Symphony” or the opera “Fiery Angel”, “Fugitive Visions” or the cantata “Alexander Nevsky”… When a child and up to this time I can’t stop admiring the accumulation of forceful impetuous energy concealed in his creations, so as his irrepressible generosity, that made him dissipate simple and simultaneously original melodies shedding inspiration and vigour, breaking the mould. Prokofiev’s biography didn’t stop stirring one’s blood, evoking the strong desire for composing something, and rather unconscientiously in Prokofiev’s manner. The same happened to me, for the great Master instilled much to my nature. Besides, Prokofiev’s music had been my lodestar, the kind of talisman. The cycle “Old Grannie’s Tales” was performed by me in my first public concert. Prokofiev’s Sonata ? 7 brought the highest mark to me (sorry for vanity) at the graduate exam in the Leningrad Conservatoire Music School. Due to his Second Piano Concerto I won the highest prize at the Third All-Russia Pianists Competition. The Sixth Sonata signed my graduation from the Conservatoire piano faculty, while the Eighth Sonata was the landmark of my post-graduate studying…I always experienced gratitude to my involuntary benefactor. The will to express my appreciations intended for the great master didn’t ever leave me. Some time ago I fortuned to make the string-orchestra version of Prokofiev’s Four piano pieces op. 4. The orchestrated pieces have already caught listeners’ fancy. It refers approximately to that period, when the first drafts of my “Prokofian” composition’s appeared. The opus was completed in the shortest time because of the news about the expected regular S. S. Prokofiev Composers’ Competition.
Finally the title of the composition resembled a letter’s address, i. e. the beginning musical phrase could be sung to the following text “Do-ro-goi Ser-gei Ser-ge-ich, Vam pi-shu pis’-mo”, meaning «Dear Sergei Sergeich, I’m writing the letter to You». The sub-title revealed an allusion to rather unique, but already settled genre of musical gift. The composition of one movement was expounded as the Sonata form with introduction and coda. Such structure had been Prokofiev’s favourite one. I resorted to these frames for to pour out my admiration and worship to the great Master.
I didn’t use any citation from Prokofiev’s music, however, the main stylistic features of my addressee are intentionally exposed by me. It seemed remarkable, that while absorbing in the particularities of the studied material I discovered the profound contiguity between Prokofiev and his rather known predecessors and contemporaries, i. e. Skriabin, Rakhmaninov, Stravinsky and even Richard Strauss, although Prokofiev himself refuted that supposition. Therefore my message to Prokofiev occurred to be addressed not only to him, but to the whole musical world surrounding him. What is left of myself in such stylistics? Isn’t it just digested thoughts and phrases belonging to other people? I can’t really judge this. Meanwhile, I dare say there are some individual features of mine standing out this composition, when its structure and orchestration are analysed. The whole Concerto resembles to me the kind of masquerade, in which I participate, but incognito, or carnival action, conducted by musical Voland (personage of the novel «Master and Margarita» by M. Bulgakov, symbolizing the Devil ruling the world), this time sarcastic and good-natured, passionate and lyrical Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev.
What an honour it was for me to be awarded the first prize at the Prokofiev International Composers Competition for the Concerto! It looked like a generous cordial response of my addressee. The premi?re took place on April 17, 2003 in the St Petersburg Bolshoy Philharmonic Hall. Anna Laukhina (violin solo) performed together with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonid Korchmar.