Aleksandr Nikolaevich Vertinskii
Aleksandr Vertinskii, USSR Cabaret singer, film actor, poet, composer.
Vertinskii, Aleksandr was born on March 21, 1889 in Kiev.
Appeared in Pierrot costume with a repertoire of his own songs from 1915. Became an extremely famous variety and restaurant singer. Emigrated in 1919. Appeared in cabarets and restaurants all over the world.
Became a millionaire. Returned to Stalin’s Soviet Union during World War II. His return received great publicity aimed at White Russians all over the world. (Donated a train-load of medical supplies which were worth one million roubles and badly needed at the time of the war.) Brought with him his actress wife.
Created an intimate musical genre and original form of diction. Received the Stalin Prize in 1951 for his participation in the propaganda film Zagovor Obrechennykh (Conspiracy of the Doomed). Set his own poems and those of Aleksandr Blok and Sergei Esenin to music.
Had a great success every time he appeared on the stage, especially after Stalin’s death, when his concerts became more frequent. Lived in Moscow. Performed in Leningrad. Remained faithful to his decadent style of performing which greatly annoyed the cultural establishment.