Mikhail Davidovich Aleksandrovich

July 23, 1914 – July 3, 2002 Munich
Mikhail Davidovich (Misha) Aleksandrovich was born on July 10 (23) 1914 in Bērzpils (Latvia) into a Jewish family of small merchants. The family moved to Riga in 1921. From a very young age, Aleksandrovich was recognised as a wunderkind.

He was sent to study theory and piano at the Riga Academy when he was only seven. As he developed, he studied voice with Reja Ratner.

On October 19, 1923, Aleksandrovich gave his first concert. 1924–1926, Aleksandrovich toured Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Germany.

1927–1933, Aleksandrovich studied the violin at the Riga Conservatory. He gave a concert again in Riga during January 1933, and during that year, Aleksandrovich started working as a cantor in a synagogue in Riga.

In August 1934, Aleksandrovich went to Manchester, where he became the main cantor at the Central Synagogue. When living in England, Alexandrovich travelled periodically to Italy, where he took lessons with Beniamino Gigli (other sources state Professor D. Gili).

In 1937, he returned to Latvia and up to 1940 he was the main cantor at the Kaunas Oel Yaakov Synagogue. He sang also at the Lithuanian Opera Company (Rigoletto, L'elisir d'amore and La traviata), and gave concerts.

In 1940, Aleksandrovich received an invitation from the Minsk Opera Company, and from 1941 began giving converts in Minsk and other Belarussian cities.

During World War II, Aleksandrovich sang for the troupes at the front, and went to tour to Baku, Tbilisi, and Erevan. The talent of Aleksandrovich was highly appreciated by Stalin. He gave private concerts for Stalin and Khrushchev.

In June 1943, he sang in Moscow for the first time. He won great acclaim from the Moscow public. Starting in 1945, Aleksandrovich went on numerous tours all over the USSR.

In 1948, he was the winner of the prestigious Stalin Award. His repertory was very broad in those years – operatic roles at the Bolshoj and Mariinskij (Lenskij, Levko), ancient music, Neapolitan songs, romances by Russian and European composers. During those years, Aleksandrovich sang almost no Jewish music, though he recorded some Jewish songs. During his career in the USSR, he was never allowed to tour the West.

In 1971, he emigrated to Israel, then to the USA (1974) and then to Germany (1980). He gave concerts in Tel Aviv, New York, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Buenos Aires, and sang in different synagogues.

In 1989, he gave performances in Russia.

He published a book I remember (Machlis, Munich, 1985; Progress, Moscow, 1992).

He died on July 3, 2002 in Munich.
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Mikhail Aleksandrovich singsLa favorite: Ange si pure, in Russian

Mikhail Aleksandrovich sings Dast tebe silu, dorogu ukazhet Stalin svoeju rukoj
The infamous Stalin Lullaby by Matvej Blanter: "You won't know fear and pain, Stalin will show you your way".
In RA format

Mikhail Aleksandrovich sings Uv'chen yehi ratzon
In RA format

Mikhail Aleksandrovich singsWerther: Pourquoi me réveiller, in Russian

Mikhail Aleksandrovich sings Ostroju sekiroj (Grechaninov)
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the recordings (Uv'chen yehi ratzon, Lullaby).
I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the recording (Werther).

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