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Zhulev, Vladimir
Written by ,   
, 03 2007

Age 46; Russia, Moscow.

Vladimir Zhulev was born in the city of Ramenskoye, in the Moscow district, on October 23rd, 1956. While in grade school there, he began to learn the violoncello. He studied at the Tsaritsino music academy, and later at the Gnesin Institute under A.Y.Georgian. After completing the institute in 1981, he served in the army. Later, he returned to the Gnesin Institute and played in the institutes opera studio, as well in symphony orchestras led by Rozhdestvensky, Almeida, in the Moiseev ensemble, among others. For a time he was with the imperial symphony orchestra of Morocco. For three years he played violoncello for the Moscow Ensemble under the direction of Vladimir Tonkhi.

I met Volodya (Vladimir) at the Gnesin opera studio in 1985. He was seven years older than me. We shared a music stand. I was a second-year student, while he had already finished the institute and returned from the army. About six months after we first met, Volodya asked me to marry him, and a year later our daughter Ksusha (Oksana) was born. She is very much like him.

There came a time when we decided to try and work for different orchestras. The first serious competition that we played in was in Rozhdestvenskys orchestra. Volodya was hired, but Iwas patted on the shoulder and told that though Iplayed remarkably, the man should be the one to earn for the family. His serious work began, and tours. There were other collectives, and sooner or later Volodya began to work in the Moiseev Ensemble. The musicians there were not as busy, and had a chance to play elsewhere if they wished. When Vladimir Tonkhi put together his violoncello ensemble, Volodya hurried to join him. We worked and went on tours together, and played new compositions, including works written especially for our group, for example, Quarterion by Gubaidullina. In this quartet occasionally played Misha Shumsky, and Zhenya Kochat, and so at Nord-Ost we were already a group that was well acquainted with one another. The theater center where Nord-Ost was playing was also right next to our apartment building. Certainly, at first we were more interested in the play from a commercial standpoint, but later we enjoyed its good work atmosphere.

October 23rd, the day of the attack, was Volodyas birthday. He went to Nord-Ost, while Istayed home and got things ready. The television was off. Parents of some of my students called me, they were afraid that Ihad been at the theater, and their first words were: Thank God that youre at home! I ran to the television and switched it on, and within 5minutes Volodya called on Zhenya Kochats the cell phone. They had hidden themselves in the basement. The second call was from the theater hall, he said that everything had been wired with explosives, that they needed to make concessions, or God help us, well all be blown up. Those were his words. Volodya asked me, if anything happened, to take care of his mother. The next call was a day and a half later, he said that everyone should go out and demonstrate, and do what the terrorists demanded. We did this, of course. I was called up by some official, and told not to go anywhere, convinced that it was all just a provocation. The demonstration was unsanctioned. All day we tried to organize one, but it was hard, with rain coming down continuously

Volodya was an ingenious person, who never lost his self-control when things were complicated, and Iwas sure that he would never break down. I knew that he would be sitting in the front rows, with the rest of the orchestra. He was seen alive twenty minutes before the gas began. I was hoping that Volodya would make it. For three days Ilooked for him, running from hospital to hospital, and the endless telephone calls

He was sent straight to the morgue from the scene of the crime, together with the Chechens. Anton Kobozev also ended up there. They would not let us identify him in person; they just showed us photographs of the body, and his personal belongings. Judging from the pictures, it was clear to me that Volodya had come to. His face was not relaxed, like Antons, or Zhenya Kochats. He had an expression of someone who was suffocating, like a person who was not given help in time.

It is impossible to forget

Volodya was a person, on the one hand, who was ordinary and everyday, but on the other hand, he was exceptional. He understood my problems, and one can say that he patiently raised me like an adult. I miss this creative person: we had always played and enjoyed the muses together, and consulted with each other. I will miss him, Isuppose, for a very long time. Everything that happens later in life, Iwill compare to him

Filarmonik #4, 2002


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