(born 23 August 1944, Moscow) – Russian composer, theater director, choreographer and choreographer. Honored Artist of the RSFSR, Doctor of Arts, Academician of the American Academy of IASEIA.
Childhood and youth
Yuri Sherling was born in Moscow. The child was raised by his mother, a pianist and accompanist Alexandra Arkadyevna (Sarra Aronovna) Sherling, a graduate of the Leningrad Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. He met his father, radio engineer Boris Abramovich Tevelev, only at the age of 18. Y. Sherling began to study music seriously at the age of four at the Music School at the Gnessin School. A student of Elena Fabianovna Gnesina and a graduate of the Moscow Choreographic School, he began performing at the Igor Moiseev State Academic Folk Dance Ensemble in 1963. But two years later he was invited to the ballet troupe of the theater. Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko. In 1965 he entered the Higher Directing Courses at the workshop of the People’s Artist of the USSR A. Goncharov and in 1969 received a diploma from the State Institute of Theater Arts with a degree in musical theater director.
The beginning of a director’s career
In 1971, A. A. Goncharov invited Yu. B. Sherling to work together on the American musical “The Man from La Mancha” at the theater. V. Mayakovsky. This performance, in which Y. Sherling performed in a new role of director, did not leave the stage for 14 years.
In the seventies, Yuri Sherling directed the film “Only one movement” and two television ballets – “Winter rainbow” and “In the shop of an old musician”
The next theatrical performance by Y. Sherling was also the musical – “The Skinny Prize” based on the play by the Cuban writer E. Quintero. The production was staged by the State Russian Drama Theater of the Estonian SSR, where Yu. Sherling was invited after his successful work on The Man from La Mancha. The premiere, which took place in March 1974, was attended by the head of the Moscow Theater. Mossovet, director Yu. A. Zavadsky, who transferred the production to the stage of his theater. The Moscow premiere of the musical took place in December 1974 and was officially dedicated to the 16th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.
Chamber Jewish Musical Theater
Yuri Sherling gained his main fame by organizing in 1977 the Chamber Jewish Musical Theater (KEMT), based in Birobidzhan and Moscow and performing performances in Yiddish (1977-1985), the first professional Jewish theater in the country since the closure of the Moscow State Jewish Theater ( GOSET) in 1949. The organization of the theater in Moscow, on Sokol, was also directly related to the Soviet party authorities and the Deputy Minister of Culture of the RSFSR, composer Andrei Makarov.
Yuri Sherling himself explained the decision to create KEMT by his reaction to “state anti-Semitism” in the USSR:
“National pride awoke in me … I should have found something capable of ramming the resistance to Yiddish culture” – from an interview with the Forverts newspaper
In this theater, Y. Sherling was not only an artistic director, but also a composer and performer of roles.
The most famous KEMT production was the musical “The Black Bridle of the White Mare” (Russian text by Ilya Reznik, text in Yiddish by Haim Bader, design by Ilya Glazunov, music by Y. Sherling), staged in 1978. Other productions by Y. Sherling at KEMT are the musical performance Lomir ale ineynem (Let’s All Together), the opera-ballet The Last Role, the play I Come From Childhood, the folk opera Golden Wedding and the musical Tevye iz Anatevka ”(libretto by Lyudmila Ulitskaya based on the story“ Tevye the Milkman ”by Sholem Aleichem) – an arrangement for the Soviet stage of the famous musical“ Fiddler on the Roof ”by D. Bock and D. Stein.
In 1985 Y. Sherling was forced to leave the walls of his theater. He staged performances mainly abroad. In particular – the play “Ghetto” based on the play by the Israeli playwright Yeshua Sobol (in Norway). He worked in television: he is the author of a number of music TV shows on Norwegian TV. Conducted concert activities as a solo pianist in Japan, Switzerland, Great Britain, USA, Germany, Austria, Hungary.
In the spring of 1989, returning to his homeland, Yuri Sherling opened a new theater, the School of Musical Art. On the stage of the theater were staged the folk opera “When the sand rises”, the opera-mystery “Have mercy”, the musical show “School of Musical Art”, the art show “Turetsky Choir”. With the repertoire of the School of Musical Art: the performances “School of Musical Art” and “Have Mercy”, Y. Sherling successfully toured the United States.
Since 1999 Yuri Sherling has been the Vice President of Public Relations at Sobinbank.
In 2007, Yu. B. Sherling revived the performance “The Black Bridle of the White Mare” at the Satire Theater. Despite the successful premiere, this performance was not noticed by the general public and soon left the stage.
In 2009, on the basis of the Theater “School of Musical Art” Yuri Sherling established the Sherling Art Production Center, which is engaged in producing and organizing concerts of jazz and classical musicians.
In March 2010, the Moscow International House of Music hosted a presentation of the jazz performance “DREAM” by Alexandra Sherling, in which Yuri Borisovich acted as the author of the idea and the stage director.
Mystery opera “The Black Bridle of the White Mare”
Ballet “The Last Role”
Opera “Tevye from Anatovka”
Folk Opera “Golden Wedding”
Folk show “I come from childhood”
Concerto for symphony orchestra and alto saxophone number 1 op. one
Waltz “Reflections” op. 2
“Sinai desert” for chamber orchestra and saxophone op. 3
Concert for piano and symphony orchestra op. 4
Swim on the Thames op. 5
Concerto for chamber orchestra and alto saxophone number 2 op. 6
Variations for chamber orchestra and cello op. 7
Romance for symphony orchestra and violin op. nine
“Scotch Dreams” for symphony orchestra and alto saxophone op. ten
Concert for symphony orchestra and alto saxophone №2 op. 6
Concert for symphony orchestra and alto saxophone No. 3 op 11
“Night Pictures” for mixed chorus, soloists, reciter and symphony orchestra op. 13
Symphony “Tribute to Matvey” for symphony orchestra in 5 movements, op. 14
Oratorio “Exodus” for symphony orchestra, chorus, soloists and reciter, op.13
He has many faces — Yuri Borisovich Sherling. Its many faces amaze and surprise, and often delight. All his life, he has overcome the obstacles that other people have put in front of him. He wants to do something, and others say: don’t, it won’t work, it won’t work. And he did, and always with fantastic results.
Vladimir Shakhidzhanyan, journalist
Sherling is a powerful personality… Many of those who know Scherling’s directorial work say that it is a pity that he left the theater, such a talent is lost! We’ll admire him later. Then. Like all people of this type. In everyday life, they are uncomfortable, and then we say: ay-ay-ay! He is a mighty talent and a human being. And it is no accident that I say the word “diamond”to him.
Armen Dzhigarkhanyan, People’s Artist of the USSR, theater director, actor (from an interview with the newspaper ” Forverts»)
In 1977, at the invitation of Yuri Borisovich Scherling, I had the honor to work in the department created by him as the production designer of his beautiful play “The Black Bridle to the White Mare”. Even then, in Soviet times, I admired his brilliant talent as a composer, director, and choreographer. I was particularly excited about Yuri Scherling’s new reading of the well-known opera in musical circles on the stage of the Satire Theater. This is a completely different performance, but, as always, deep, talented, sparkling in a Scherling way. He managed to create a universal drama of the struggle between good and evil with filigree depth. That is why, as always, it is accompanied by a well-deserved success with the audience. This production has become an event in modern Russian culture.
Ilya Glazunov, Rector of the Russian Academy of Painting Sculpture and Architecture, People’s Artist of the USSR
The magical effect of the Scherling Theater on the audience is absolutely unforgettable: many Soviet Jews who have visited its performances have regained the strength to walk with their heads raised… Creating it with his own hands, an outstanding talent of the artist and a Jewish soul formed by genes inherited from unknown ancestors, he managed to make up for the lack of knowledge and national education with a righteous hatred of the anti-Semites in power and a passionate love for his centuries-old oppressed people.
Mr Edidovich, writer and publicist