OLEG FELZER (1939 - 1998)
Oleg Felzer (b. Baku, Azerbaijan, 1939; d. New York, 1998) graduated from the Baku State Conservatory and the Leningrad Conservatory. After teaching at the Moscow Conservatory, Felzer returned home as professor of composition and music theory at the Baku Conservatory, and founded and conducted a chamber orchestra, becoming a major figure in Azerbaijan’s musical world until emigrating to New York in 1988. He lovingly directed the choir at an African-American church in Brooklyn until his untimely death from cancer. Felzer’s music remains little known in the West and difficult to obtain, because he hadn’t found a publisher to replace the defunct Soviet state publisher of his earlier works. His music includes solo pieces, chamber music, works for chamber orchestra, choral and vocal pieces, and a musical that was staged in Belarus. In Azerbaijan, Oleg Felzer is lovingly remembered as a composer, teacher, and mentor by his students and colleagues, who include Franghiz Ali-Zadeh and Kara Karayev’s son Faradzh, both of them composers of international stature.