Sofia Gubaidulina

Sofia Gubaidulina

Ask a question about 'Sofia Gubaidulina'
Start a new discussion about 'Sofia Gubaidulina'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Sofia Asgatovna Gubaidulina, (born October 24, 1931) is a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 of half Russian
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

, half Tatar
Volga Tatars
The Volga Tatars are the largest subgroup of the Tatars, native to the Volga region.They account for roughly six out of seven million Tatars worldwide....


Gubaidulina's music is marked by the use of unusual instrumental combinations. In Erwartung combines percussion (bongos, güiro
The güiro is a Latin-American percussion instrument consisting of an open-ended, hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side. It is played by rubbing a stick or tines along the notches to produce a ratchet-like sound. The güiro is commonly used in Latin-American music, and plays a key role...

s, temple blocks, cymbals and tam-tams among others), bayan
Bayan (accordion)
The bayan is a type of chromatic button accordion developed in Russia in the early 20th century and named after 11th-century bard Boyan.-Characteristics:The bayan differs from western chromatic button accordions in some details of construction:...

 and saxophone
The saxophone is a conical-bore transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846...

In music, a quartet is a method of instrumentation , used to perform a musical composition, and consisting of four parts.-Western art music:...



Gubaidulina was born in Chistopol
Chistopol is a town in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, located on the left bank of the Kuybyshev Reservoir, on the Kama River. Population: It is served by the Chistopol Airport.-History:It was first mentioned in chronicles at the end of the 17th century...

, in the Tatar ASSR. In her youth she would spend much time praying in the fields near her home that she might one day become a composer. She studied composition and piano at the Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

 Conservatory, graduating in 1954. In Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 she undertook further studies at the Conservatory with Nikolay Peyko until 1959, and then with Shebalin until 1963. She was awarded with Stalin-fellowship. Her music was deemed "irresponsible" during her studies in Soviet Russia, due to its exploration of alternative tunings
Musical tuning
In music, there are two common meanings for tuning:* Tuning practice, the act of tuning an instrument or voice.* Tuning systems, the various systems of pitches used to tune an instrument, and their theoretical bases.-Tuning practice:...

. She was supported, however, by Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century....

, who in evaluating her final examination encouraged her to continue down her "mistaken path". However, she was allowed to express her modernism in various scores she composed for documentary films, including the 1968 production, On Submarine Scooters, a 70mm film shot in the unique Kinopanorama
Kinopanorama is a three-lens, three-film widescreen film format. Although Kinopanorama was initially known as Panorama in the Soviet Union the name was later revised to include its current name prior to the premier screenings in Moscow in 1958. In some countries, including Cuba, Greece, Norway and...

 widescreen format.

In the mid-1970s Gubaidulina founded Astreja, a folk-instrument improvisation group with fellow composers Viktor Suslin
Viktor Suslin
Viktor Yevseyevich Suslin |Ural]], Russia ) is a Russian composer living in Germany as of 1981.-Biography:At the age of four , Suslin began to study piano and made his first attempts at composition. From 1950 to 1962 he attended Kharkiv Music High School, and from 1961 to 1962 at Kharkiv...

 and Vyacheslav Artyomov
Vyacheslav Artyomov
Vyacheslav Petrovich Artyomov also Artemov is a Russian and Soviet composer.-Biography:Artyomov first studied physics at the Moscow University, then later studied music. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1968 where studied composition with Nikolai Sidelnikov. He became a member of the...

. In 1979, she was blacklisted as one of the "Khrennikov's Seven
Khrennikov's Seven
Khrennikov’s Seven was a group of seven Russian Soviet composers denounced at the Sixth Congress of the Composers' Union by its leader Tikhon Khrennikov for the unapproved participation in some festivals of Soviet music in the West. Khrennikov called their music "pointlessness... and noisy mud...

" at the Sixth Congress of the Union of Soviet Composers
Union of Soviet Composers
The USSR Union of Composers or Union of Composers of the USSR , , was a professional organisation of composers in the Soviet Union...

 for unapproved participation in some festivals of Soviet music in the West.

Gubaidulina became better known abroad during the early 1980s through Gidon Kremer
Gidon Kremer
Gidon Kremer is a Latvian violinist and conductor. In 1980 he left the USSR and settled in Germany.-Biography:Kremer was born in Riga to parents of German-Jewish and Latvian-Swedish origins. He began playing the violin at the age of four, receiving instruction from his father and his grandfather,...

's championing of her violin concerto Offertorium
Offertorium (Gubaidulina)
Offertorium is a concerto for violin and orchestra composed by Sofia Gubaidulina in 1980 and revised in 1982 and 1986...

. She later composed an homage to T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
Thomas Stearns "T. S." Eliot OM was a playwright, literary critic, and arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century. Although he was born an American he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.The poem that made his...

, using the text from the poet's spiritual masterpiece Four Quartets
Four Quartets
Four Quartets is a set of four poems written by T. S. Eliot that were published individually over a six-year period. The first poem, "Burnt Norton", was written and published with a collection of his early works following the production of Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral...

. In 2000, Gubaidulina, along with Tan Dun
Tan Dun
Tan Dun is a Chinese contemporary classical composer, most widely known for his scores for the movies Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero.-Early life in China:...

, Osvaldo Golijov
Osvaldo Golijov
Osvaldo Noé Golijov is a Grammy award–winning composer of classical music.-Biography:Osvaldo Golijov was born in and grew up in La Plata, Argentina, in a Jewish family that had emigrated to Argentina in the 1920s from Romania and Russia.Golijov has developed a rich musical language, the result of...

, and Wolfgang Rihm
Wolfgang Rihm
Wolfgang Rihm is a German composer.Rihm is Head of the Institute of Modern Music at the Karlsruhe Conservatory of Music and has been composer in residence at the Lucerne Festival and the Salzburg Festival...

, was commissioned by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart
Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart
Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart is a foundation in Stuttgart, founded by Helmuth Rilling in 1981 to foster international concerts and workshops, namely Musikfest Stuttgart, dedicated especially to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in relation to present day composition.-Musikfest...

 project to write a piece for the Passion 2000 project in commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

. Her contribution was the Johannes-Passion. In 2002 she followed this by the Johannes-Ostern ("Easter according to John"), commissioned by Hannover Rundfunk. The two works together form a "diptych" on the death and resurrection of Christ, her largest work to date. Invited by Walter Fink
Walter Fink
Walter Fink is a German retired executive and a patron of Contemporary music. He is mostly known for being a founding member, Executive Committee member and sponsor of the Rheingau Musik Festival.- Biography :...

, she was the 13th composer featured in the annual Komponistenporträt of the Rheingau Musik Festival
Rheingau Musik Festival
The Rheingau Musik Festival is an international summer music festival in Germany, founded in 1987. It is mostly for classical music, but includes other genres...

 in 2003, the first female composer of the series. Her work The Light at the End preceded Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire, and has been adapted for use as the European Anthem...

 in the 2005 proms. In 2007 her second violin concerto In Tempus Praesens was performed at the Lucerne Festival by Anne-Sophie Mutter
Anne-Sophie Mutter
Anne-Sophie Mutter is a German violinist.- Early life :Mutter was born in Rheinfelden, Germany. She began playing the piano at age five, and shortly afterwards took up the violin, studying with Erna Honigberger, a pupil of Carl Flesch...

. Its creation has been depicted in Jan Schmidt-Garre
Jan Schmidt-Garre
-Biography:Jan Schmidt-Garre studied philosophy at the Hochschule für Philosophie der Jesuiten in Munich from 1982 to 1986...

's film Sophia - Biography of a Violin Concerto.

Since 1992, Gubaidulina has lived in Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, Germany. She is a member of the musical academies in Frankfurt, Hamburg and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music
Royal Swedish Academy of Music
The Royal Swedish Academy of Music or Kungl. Musikaliska Akademien, founded in 1771 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies in Sweden...



For Gubaidulina, music was an escape from the terrifying socio-political atmosphere of Soviet Russia. For this reason, she associated music with human transcendence and mystical spiritualism, which manifests itself as a longing inside the soul of humanity to locate its true being, a longing she continually tries to capture in her works. These abstract religious and mystical associations are concretized in Gubaidulina's compositions in various ways. Gubaidulina is a convinced Russian-Orthodox believer.
The influence of electronic music and improvisational techniques is exemplified in her unusual combination of contrasting elements, novel instrumentation, and the use of traditional Russian folk instruments in her solo and chamber works, such as De profundis for bayan, Et expecto- Sonata for bayan, and In croce for cello and organ or bayan. The koto
Koto (musical instrument)
The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument, similar to the Chinese guzheng, the Mongolian yatga, the Korean gayageum and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. The koto is the national instrument of Japan. Koto are about length, and made from kiri wood...

, a traditional Japanese instrument is featured in her work In the Shadow of the Tree, in which one solo player performs three different instrument—Koto
Koto (musical instrument)
The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument, similar to the Chinese guzheng, the Mongolian yatga, the Korean gayageum and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. The koto is the national instrument of Japan. Koto are about length, and made from kiri wood...

, Bass Koto, and Chang
Chang (instrument)
The chang is an Iranian harp. It was very popular and used widely during the times of ancient Persia, especially during the Sassanid Dynasty where it was often played in the shahs' court....

. The Canticle of the Sun is a cello concerto/choral hybrid, dedicated to Rostropovich. The use of the lowest possible registers on the cello opens new possibilities for the instrument while the limited use of chorus also adds a mystical ambience to the work.

Another influence of improvisation techniques can be found in her fascination with percussion instruments. She associates the indeterminate nature of percussive timbres with the mystical longing and the potential freedom of human transcendence.

She was also preoccupied by experimentation with non-traditional methods of sound production, and as already mentioned, with unusual combinations of instruments, i.e. Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings (1975), Detto- I – Sonata for Organ and Percussion (1978), The Garden of Joy and Sorrow for Flute, Harp and Viola (1980), and Descensio for 3 Trombones, 3 Percussionists, Harp, Harpsichord/Celesta and Celesta/Piano (1981).

Gubaidulina notes that the two composers to whom she experiences a constant devotion are J.S. Bach and Webern. Among some non-musical influences of considerable import are Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

 (Swiss thinker and founder of analytical psychology) and Nikolai Aleksandrovich Berdiaev (Russian religious philosopher, whose works were forbidden in USSR, but nevertheless found and studied by the composer).


Being a profoundly religious person, Gubaidulina defines “re-ligio” as re-legato or as restoration of the connection between oneself and the Absolute. She finds this re-connection through the artistic process and has developed a number of musical symbols to express her ideals. She does it through narrower means of intervallic and rhythmic relationship within the primary material of her works, by seeking to discover the depth and mysticism of the sound, as well as on a larger scale, through carefully thought architecture of musical form.
Melodically, Gubaidulina’s is characterized by the frequent use of intense chromatic motives rather than long melodic phrases. She often treats musical space as a means of attaining unity with the divine—a direct line to God—concretely manifest by the lack of striation in pitch space. She achieves this through the use of micro-chromaticism (i.e., quarter tones) and frequent glissandi, exemplifying the lack of “steps” to the divine. This notion is furthered by her extreme dichotomy characterized by chromatic space vs. diatonic space viewed as symbols of darkness vs. light and human/mundane vs. divine/heavenly. Finally, the use of short motivic segments allows her to create a musical narrative that is seemingly open-ended and disjunct rather than smooth.

Harmonically, Gubaidulina’s music resists traditional tonal centers and triadic structures in favor of pitch clusters
Tone cluster
A tone cluster is a musical chord comprising at least three consecutive tones in a scale. Prototypical tone clusters are based on the chromatic scale, and are separated by semitones. For instance, three adjacent piano keys struck simultaneously produce a tone cluster...

 and intervallic design arising from the contrapuntal interaction between melodic voices. For example, in the Cello Concerto Detto-2 (1972) she notes that a strict and progressive intervallic process occurs, in which the opening section utilizes successively wider intervals that become narrower toward the last section.
Rhythmically, Gubaidulina places significant stress on the fact that temporal ratios should not be limited to local figuration; rather, the temporality of the musical form should be the defining feature of rhythmic character. As Gerard McBurney
Gerard McBurney
Gerard McBurney — British composer, arranger, broadcaster, teacher and writer.Born 20 June 1954, in Cambridge, England. He is the son of Charles McBurney, an American archaeologist, and Anne Francis Edmondstone , who was a British secretary of English, Scots, and Irish ancestry...


In conversation she is most keen to stress that she cannot accept the idea (a frequent post-serial one) of rhythm or duration as the material of a piece. . . . To her, rhythm is nowadays a generating principle as, for instance, the cadence was to tonal composers of the Classical period; it therefore cannot be the surface material of a work. . . . [S]he expresses her impatience with Messiaen, whose use of rhythmic modes to generate local imagery, she feels, restricts the effectiveness of rhythm as an underlying formal level of the music.

To this end, Gubaidulina often devises durational ratios in order to create the temporal forms for her compositions. Specifically, she is prone to utilizing elements of the Fibonacci sequence or the Golden Ratio
Golden ratio
In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.61803398874989...

, in which each succeeding element is equal to the sum of the two preceding elements (i.e., 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc.). This numerical layout represents the balanced nature in her music through a sense of cell multiplication between live and non-live substances. She firmly believes that this abstract theory is the foundation of her personal musical expression. The “Golden Ratio “between the sections are always marked by some musical event, and composer explores her fantasy fully in articulating this moments.

The first work in which Gubaidulina experiments with this concept of proportionality is Perceptions for Soprano, Baritone, and Seven String Instruments (1981, rev. 1983–86). The 12th movement, “Montys Tod” (Monty’s Death), uses the Fibonacci series in its rhythmical structure with the number of quarter notes in individual episodes corresponding to numbers from Fibonacci series.

In the early 1980s, she began to use the Fibonacci sequence as a way of structuring the form of the work. The sequence was especially appealing because it provides a basis for composition while still allowing the form to "breathe". It plays a prominent role in such pieces as Perception, Im Anfang war der Rhythmus, Quasi hoketus and the symphony
A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, scored almost always for orchestra. A symphony usually contains at least one movement or episode composed according to the sonata principle...

 Stimmen... Verstummen...
Stimmen Verstummen
Stimmen... Verstummen... is a symphony in twelve movements by Russian-Tatar composer Sofia Gubaidulina. It was written in 1986 and dedicated to the conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who gave the first performance in West Berlin with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra on September 4, 1986...

Later the Lucas and Evangelist series, sequences derived from that of Fibonacci
Leonardo Pisano Bigollo also known as Leonardo of Pisa, Leonardo Pisano, Leonardo Bonacci, Leonardo Fibonacci, or, most commonly, simply Fibonacci, was an Italian mathematician, considered by some "the most talented western mathematician of the Middle Ages."Fibonacci is best known to the modern...

, were added to her repertoire
Repertoire may mean repertory, a system of theatrical production and performance scheduling, but may also refer to:* Musical repertoire* Repertoire Records, a German record label specialising in 1960s and 1970s pop and rock reissues...


Piano music

Gubaidulina’s entire piano output belongs to her earlier compositional period and consists of the following works: Chaconne (1962), Piano Sonata (1965), Musical Toys (1968), Toccata-Troncata (1971), Invention (1974) and Piano Concerto “Introitus” (1978). Some of the titles reveal her interest in baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 genres and the influence of J.S. Bach.

The Piano Sonata is dedicated to Henrietta Mirvis, a pianist greatly admired by the composer. The work follows the classical formal structure in 3 movements: Allegro (Sonata form), Adagio, and Allegretto. Four motives (pitch sets) are utilized throughout the entire sonata
Sonata , in music, literally means a piece played as opposed to a cantata , a piece sung. The term, being vague, naturally evolved through the history of music, designating a variety of forms prior to the Classical era...

, which also constitute the cyclical elements upon which the rhetoric of the piece is constructed. Each motive is given a particular name: “spring”, “struggle”, “consolation,” and “faith.”

There are two elements in the primary thematic complex of the first movement: (1) a “swing” theme, characterized by syncopation
In music, syncopation includes a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected in that they deviate from the strict succession of regularly spaced strong and weak but also powerful beats in a meter . These include a stress on a normally unstressed beat or a rest where one would normally be...

 and dotted rhythms and (2) a chord progression, juxtaposing minor and major seconds over an ostinato
In music, an ostinato is a motif or phrase, which is persistently repeated in the same musical voice. An ostinato is always a succession of equal sounds, wherein each note always has the same weight or stress. The repeating idea may be a rhythmic pattern, part of a tune, or a complete melody in...

 pattern in the left hand. The slower secondary theme introduces a melodic element associated with the ostinato element of the previous theme.
In the development section, these sets are explored melodically, while the dotted rhythm figure gains even more importance. In the recapitulation, the chord progression of the first thematic complex is brought to the higher registers, preparing the coda based on secondary theme cantabile
Cantabile is a musical term meaning literally "singable" or "songlike" . It has several meanings in different contexts. In instrumental music, it indicates a particular style of playing designed to imitate the human voice. For 18th century composers, the term is often used synonymously with...

 element, which gradually broadens.
The second movement shifts to a different expressive world. A simple ternary form with a cadenza–AB (cadenza
In music, a cadenza is, generically, an improvised or written-out ornamental passage played or sung by a soloist or soloists, usually in a "free" rhythmic style, and often allowing for virtuosic display....

) A, the B section represents an acoustic departure as the chromatic figurations in the left hand, originating in section A, are muted.
In the cadenza the performer improvises within a framework given by the composer, inviting a deeper exploration of the secrets of sound. It consists of two alternating elements– open-sounding strings, stroke by fingers, with no pitch determination, and muted articulation of the strings in the bass register—separated by rests marked with fermata
A fermata is an element of musical notation indicating that the note should be sustained for longer than its note value would indicate...

s. The third movement is constructed of 7 episodes, in which there is a continuous liberation of energy accumulated during the previous movement.

Musical expression in this work is achieved through a variety of means. Rhythm is a very important element in the construction of the work, articulating a distinct rhetoric, as well as in the development of the musical material. Exploration of a wide range of sounds, within the possibilities of the instrument, involving both traditional and nontraditional methods of sound productions are another important mean.

Some examples of the nontraditional sounds produced are a glissando
In music, a glissando is a glide from one pitch to another. It is an Italianized musical term derived from the French glisser, to glide. In some contexts it is distinguished from the continuous portamento...

 performed with a bamboo stick on the piano pegs against a cluster
Tone cluster
A tone cluster is a musical chord comprising at least three consecutive tones in a scale. Prototypical tone clusters are based on the chromatic scale, and are separated by semitones. For instance, three adjacent piano keys struck simultaneously produce a tone cluster...

 performed on the keyboard, placing the bamboo stick on vibrating strings, plucking the strings, glissando along the strings using fingernail, touching the strings creating a muted effect.

Two distinct aspects of the sonata—the driving force and the meditative state—can be seen through the architecture of the work as portraying the image of the cross. The first movement is related to the “horizontal” line, which symbolizes human experience while the second movement reflects the “vertical” line, which represents man’s striving for full realization in the Divine. The meeting point of these two lines in music happens at the end of second movement, and that reflects transformation of the human being at crossing this two dimensions. The third movement “celebrates the newly obtained freedom of the spirit”.

Awards and recognition

Gubaidulina has received the Prix de Monaco (1987), the Premio Franco Abbiati (1991), the Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis (1991), the Russian State Prize (1992), the Koussevitzky International Record Award (in 1989 and 1994), the Ludwig-Spohr-Preis der Stadt Braunschweig (1995), the Kulturpreis des Kreises Pinneberg (1997), the Praemium Imperiale in Japan (1998), the Sonning Award in Denmark (1999), the Preis der Stiftung Bibel und Kultur (1999), the Goethe-Medaille der Stadt Weimar (2001), the Moscow „Silenzio“-Preis (2001), den Polar-Musikpreis (2002), the Polar Music Prize
Polar Music Prize
The Polar Music Prize is a Swedish international music award founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, possibly best known to be the manager of the Swedish pop group ABBA, with a donation to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music....

 in Sweden (2002), the Great Distinguished Service Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2002), the Living Composer Prize of the Cannes Classical Awards in 2003, Europäischen Kulturpreis (2005), the Russian cultural Prize „Triumph“ (2007), the Bachpreis der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg (2007) and the Honour Prize of the Moscow Regiment and the International Council of Russian Compatriots "The Compatriot of the Year -- 2007". In 2011 she was awarded a "Doctor of Humane Letters" honorary degree from University of Chicago.

In 2001 she became Honour Professor of the Kazan Conservatory, in 2004, she was elected as a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, in 2009, she became Dr. honoris causa of the Yale University.


  • Phacelia, vocal cycle for soprano and orchestra based on Mikhail Prishvin's
    Mikhail Prishvin
    Mikhail Mikhailovich Prishvin was a Russian/Soviet writer.Mikhail Prishvin was born in the family mansion of Krutschevo, near the city of Yelets in what is now Lipetsk Oblast into the family of a merchant. In 1893-1897, he studied at a polytechnic school in Riga and was once arrested for his...

     poem (1956)
  • Quintet for piano, two violins, viola, and violoncello (1957)
  • Piano Sonata (1965)
  • Night in Memphis, cantata for mezzo-soprano, orchestra and male choir on tape (1968)
  • Rubaijat, cantata for baryton and chamber ensemble (1969)
  • Musical Toys fourteen piano pieces for children (1969)
  • Vivente - Non Vivente for electronics (1970)
  • Concordanza for chamber ensemble (1971)
  • String Quartet No. 1 (1971)
  • Ten Preludes for solo cello (1974)
  • Rumore e silenzio for percussion and harpsichord (1974)
  • Hour of the Soul poem by Marina Tsvetaeva for large wind orchestra and mezzo-soprano/contralto (1974), for percussion, mezzo-soprano, and large orchestra (1976)
  • Sonata for double bass and piano (1975)
  • Concerto for bassoon and low strings (1975)
  • Hell und Dunkel for organ (1976)
  • Two Ballads for two trumpets and piano (1976)
  • Trio for three trumpets (1976)
  • Lied ohne Worte for trumpet and piano (1977)
  • Duo sonata for two bassoons (1977)
  • Lamento for tuba and piano (1977)
  • Misterioso for 7 percussionists (1977)
  • Introitus concerto for piano and chamber orchestra (1978)
  • In Croce for cello and organ (1979), for bayan and cello (1991)
  • Jubilatio for 4 percussionists (1979)
  • Offertorium
    Offertorium (Gubaidulina)
    Offertorium is a concerto for violin and orchestra composed by Sofia Gubaidulina in 1980 and revised in 1982 and 1986...

     (Жертвоприношение) concerto for violin and orchestra (1980, rev. 1982, 1986)
  • Garten von Freuden und Traurigkeiten for flute, viola, harp and narrator (1980)
  • Perception for soprano, baritone (speaking voices) and 7 string instruments (1981, rev. 1983, 1986)
  • Descensio for 3 trombones, 3 percussionists, harp, harpsichord and piano (1981)
  • Rejoice, sonata for violin and cello (1981)
  • Sieben Worte for cello, bayan, and strings (1982)
  • Quasi hoquetus for viola, bassoon, and piano (1984)
  • Hommage à Marina Tsvetayeva for a capella choir (1984)
  • Stimmen... Verstummen...
    Stimmen Verstummen
    Stimmen... Verstummen... is a symphony in twelve movements by Russian-Tatar composer Sofia Gubaidulina. It was written in 1986 and dedicated to the conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who gave the first performance in West Berlin with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra on September 4, 1986...

     symphony in twelve movements (1986)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1987)
  • String Quartet No. 3 (1987)
  • Hommage à T.S. Eliot for sopran and octet (1987)
  • String Trio (1988)
  • Jauchzt vor Gott for mixed choir and organ (1989)
  • The Unasked Answer (Antwort ohne Frage) collage for three orchestras (1989)
  • Alleluja for mixed chorus, boy soprano, organ and large orchestra (1990)
  • Hörst Du uns, Luigi? Schau mal, welchen Tanz eine einfache Holzrassel für Dich vollführt (Слышишь ты нас, Луиджи? Вот танец, который танцует для тебя обыкновенная деревянная трещотка) for six percussionists (1991)
  • Aus dem Studenbuch on a text of Rainer Maria Rilke for cello, orchestra, male choir, and a woman speaker (1991)
  • Gerade und ungerade (Чет и нечет) for seven percussionists, including cymbalom (1991)
  • Silenzio for bayan, violin, and cello (1991)
  • Lauda for alto, tenor, baritone, narrator, mixed choir, and large orchestra (1991)
  • Stufen for orchestra (1992)
  • Tartarische Tanz for bayan and two contrabass (1992)
  • Dancer on a Tightrope (Der Seiltänzer) for violin and string piano
    String piano
    String piano is a term coined by American composer-theorist Henry Cowell to collectively describe those pianistic extended techniques in which sound is produced by direct manipulation of the strings, instead of or in addition to striking the piano's keys...

  • Jetzt immer Schnee (Теперь всегда снега) on verses of Gennadi Aigi for chamber ensemble and chamber choir (1993)
  • Meditation über den Bach-Choral "Vor deinen Thron tret' ich hiermit" for harpsichord, two violins, viola, cello, and contrabass (1993)
  • Рано утром перед пробуждением for three 17-string Japanese bass kotos and four 13-string Japanese kotos (1993)
  • Allegro Rustico: Klänge des Waldes for flute and piano (1993)
  • And: The Feast is in Full Procession (И: Празднество в разгаре) for violoncello and orchestra (1993)
  • String Quartet No. 4 with tape (1993)
  • In Erwartung (В ожидании) for saxophone quartet and six percussionists (1994)
  • Ein Engel for alto and double bass (1994)
  • Figures of Time (Фигуры времени) for large orchestra (1994)
  • Aus der Visionen der Hildegard von Bingen for alto (1994)
  • Music for Flute, Strings, and Percussion
    Music for Flute, Strings, and Percussion
    Music for Flute, Strings, and Percussion is a piece written by Sofia Gubaidulina in 1994 dedicated to Pierre-Yves Artaud.The instruments are divided into two sections, one of which is tuned a quarter-tone lower than the other...

  • Impromptu for flute (flute and alto flute), violin, and strings (1996)
  • Quaternion for cello quartet (1996)
  • Galgenlieder à 3 fifteen pieces for mezzo-soprano, percussion, and contrabass (1996)
  • Galgenlieder à 5 fourteen pieces for mezzo-soprano, flute, percussion, bayan, and contrabass (1996)
  • Concerto for viola and orchestra (1996)
  • Ritorno perpetuo for harpsichord (1997)
  • The Canticle of the Sun of St Francis of Assisi
    Canticle of the Sun
    The Canticle of the Sun, also known as the Laudes Creaturarum , is a religious song composed by Saint Francis of Assisi. It was written in the Umbrian dialect of Italian but has since been translated into many languages...

     for cello, chamber choir, and orchestra (1997)
  • Im Schatten des Baumes (В тени под деревом) for koto, bass koto, zheng, and orchestra (1998)
  • Two Paths: A Dedication to Mary and Martha for two viola solo and orchestra (1998)
  • Johannes-Passion for soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, two mixed choirs, organ, and large orchestra (2000)
  • Risonanza for three trumpets, four trombones, organ, and six strings (2001)
  • Johannes-Ostern for soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, two mixed choirs, organ, and large orchestra (2001)
  • The Rider on the White Horse for large orchestra and organ (2002)
  • Reflections on the theme B-A-C-H for string quartet (2002)
  • Mirage: The Dancing Sun for eight violoncelli (2002)
  • On the Edge of Abyss for seven violoncelli and two waterphone
    A waterphone is a type of atonal acoustic musical instrument constructed largely of a stainless steel resonator "bowl" with a cylindrical "neck", which may or may not contain a small amount of water, and with brass rods around the rim of the bowl. The waterphone produces a vibrant ethereal type of...

    s (2002)
  • The Light of the End (Свет конца) for large orchestra (2003)
  • Under the Sign of Scorpio variants on six hexachords for bayan
    Bayan (accordion)
    The bayan is a type of chromatic button accordion developed in Russia in the early 20th century and named after 11th-century bard Boyan.-Characteristics:The bayan differs from western chromatic button accordions in some details of construction:...

     and large orchestra (2003)
  • Verwandlung (Transformation) for trombone, saxophone quartet, violoncello, double bass, and tam-tam (2004)
  • ...The Deceitful Face of Hope and Despair for flute and orchestra (2005)
  • Feast During a Plague for large orchestra (2006)
  • The Lyre of Orpheus for violin, percussion, and strings (2006)
  • In Tempus Praesens concerto for violin and orchestra (2007)
  • Ravvedimento, for cello and guitar quartet (2007)
  • Pentimento, an arrangement of 'Ravvedimento' for double-bass and three guitars (2007)
  • Repentance, an arrangement of 'Ravvedimento' for cello, double-bass and three guitars (2008)
  • Glorious Percussion concerto for percussions and orchestra (2008)
  • Fachwerk, concerto for bayan, percussion and strings (2009)
  • Sotto voce, for viola, double bass and two guitars (2010)
  • Labyrinth, for 12 celli (2011)

Film scores

  • Adventures of Mowgli (1967–1971)
  • The Cat Who Walked by Herself
    The Cat Who Walked by Herself
    The Cat Who Walked by Herself is a 1988 Soviet animated feature film directed by Ideya Garanina and made at the Soyuzmultfilm studio. It is based on Rudyard Kipling's short story, The Cat that Walked by Himself...


A more complete list of her scores for animated films may be found on her profile at is a Russian website chronicling the films, people and studios of the animation industry in Russia, the former Soviet Union and the CIS. It also includes a forum, a news block, a photo-gallery and an animators labour exchange...



  • The Canticle of the Sun (1997) and Music for Flute, Strings, and Percussion
    Music for Flute, Strings, and Percussion
    Music for Flute, Strings, and Percussion is a piece written by Sofia Gubaidulina in 1994 dedicated to Pierre-Yves Artaud.The instruments are divided into two sections, one of which is tuned a quarter-tone lower than the other...

     (1994). The first performed by cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich
    Mstislav Rostropovich
    Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, KBE , known to close friends as Slava, was a Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor. He was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. He is widely considered to have been the greatest cellist of the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of...

     and London Voices
    London Voices
    London Voices is a London-based choral ensemble led by Terry Edwards, who founded the ensemble in 1973...

     conducted by Ryusuke Numajiri, the second by flutist Emmanuel Pahud
    Emmanuel Pahud
    Emmanuel Pahud is a Swiss flute player.He was born in Geneva, Switzerland. His father is of French and Swiss background and his mother is French. The Berlin-based flutist is most known for his baroque and classical flute repertory....

     and the London Symphony Orchestra
    London Symphony Orchestra
    The London Symphony Orchestra is a major orchestra of the United Kingdom, as well as one of the best-known orchestras in the world. Since 1982, the LSO has been based in London's Barbican Centre.-History:...

     conducted by Rostropovich. Gubaidulina attended the recording of both pieces.
  • Johannes-Passion (2000). Performed by Natalia Korneva, Soprano; Viktor Lutsiuk, Tenor; Fedor Mozhaev, Baritone; Genady Bezzubenkov, Bass; St. Petersburg Chamber Choir (dir. Nikolai Kornev); Choir of the Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg (dir. Andrei Petrenko); Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg conducted by Valery Gergiev
    Valery Gergiev
    Valery Abisalovich Gergiev is a Russian conductor and opera company director. He is general director and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and artistic director of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg.- Early life :Gergiev,...

    . World premiere recorded live at the European Music Festival in Stuttgart, 01.09.2000.

External links