Yakov Kazyansky was born in Kuybyshev (now Samara) on August 30, 1948. In 1949, his family moved to Yaroslavl, where he graduated from the Yaroslavl Regional Music College. In 1972, Yakov received his Master’s Degree in Music Theory from the Gnessin State Musical College in Moscow.
In 1972-1985, he taught music theory courses at the Yaroslavl Regional Music College. Mr. Kazyansky has been working as a Musical Director at the Yaroslavl Young People’s Theatre since 1985. While working at the theatre, he composed music for over 20 performances and a one-act opera The Cat’s House (1994). The performances with the Yakov Kazyansky’s music had been staged in Tambov, Rybinsk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Vologda, and other Russian cities. Yakov Kazyansky founded an instrumental band that accompanies many performances in the theatre. In 1987, he started working on the musical version of the Andrew Lloyd Weber’s famous rock-opera Jesus Christ Superstar. The opening night was on December 25, 1989 in Rybinsk. In April 1990, the performance was staged at the Yaroslavl Young People’s Theatre, where it ran for five seasons with much acclaim.
Mr. Kazyansky received the regional F.Volkov Prize for the music of The Evening of the Russian Vaudevilles in 1994 and the regional L.Sobinov Prize for The Cat’s House in 1995. On June 3, 1994, Yakov Kazyansky was named Honoured Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation by decree of the President of Russia.
Since 2000, Mr. Kazyansky combines his work at the Young People’s Theatre with the position of the Musical Director of The Yaroslavl Puppet Theatre. Yakov Kazyansky is the author of the music for the television movie New Year’s Adventures (Ren-TV Channel, 2001), the television series Poroda (TVS Channel, 2002).
Yakov Kazyansky arranged many of jazz compositions and Jewish songs for the vocal duet of his daughters, as well as for some other music groups. Yakov Kazyansky has successfully performed at many jazz festivals as a jazz pianist. At present, he regularly performs in Yaroslavl, playing with different musicians.
Olga Kazyanskaya was born in Yaroslavl on March 6, 1956. In 1977, she graduated from theYaroslavl Regional Music College with specialization in Choral Conducting. The same year, she married Yakov Kazyansky, a professor at the college, and their twin daughters Anna and Katia were born in 1978. In 1987, Olga Kazyanskaya received her Masters degree from the Gorky Conservatoire (Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia).
From 1977 to 1987, she worked as the choir master at the School of Music # 7, followed by four years at the School of Music of the Officers’ House of Yaroslavl. Since 1991, she has worked as a music and enrichment teacher at the secondary school # 75. Olga Kazyanskaya has pioneered a system of musical and aesthetic education of children on the basis of choral singing, through which the issues of music history and theory are covered. In her opinion, there are no children that cannot be taught singing; each class of Olga Kazyanskaya is a choir that performs in multiple voices the wide spectrum of the world music – from the classics to musicals.
Each year, the students of Olga Kazyanskaya win regional music and theatre competitions. While working at the school, she has staged the following performances: Cinderella by A.Spadavekkia, Rat-tat! Who is there?, I Count Till Five and TheCat’s House by Y.Kazyansky,Orpheus and Eurydice by C.W.Gluck, The Story of the Cat Philofey by Y.Dubravin, Old Man Hottabych by G.Gladkov, Cats by A.L.Webber and others.
In 1996, Olga Kazyanskaya won the regional competition The Teacher of the Year-96, and she was named Honoured Teacher of the Russian Federation in 1998. In 2006, Olga Kazyanskaya received the President’s Award.
For many years, Olga Kazyanskaya had worked as the voice tutor at the Yaroslavl Young People’s Theatre. Due to her professional skills, the theatre had been able to use the live singing of actors in many performances. Currently, Olga Kazyanskaya combines her work at the school with voice tutoring at the Puppet Theatre.
Olga Kazyanskaya has given voice lessons to her daughters as well.
Anna and Katia (Kate)
Anna and Katia were born in Yaroslavl on April 27, 1978. They started learning music as young children, singing in a duet, attending a music school and participating in city concerts. They displayed a great interest in Jewish music and jazz.
In 1995, the vocal duet of Anna and Katia Kazyanskaya won the second prize at Halleluia-95 –the International Youth Festival of Songs about Israel in Moscow — with the song The Promised Land (music by Y.Kazyansky, lyrics by L.Kopylova).
In 2000, they graduated from the Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University with a BA degree in Linguistics and History of Arts.
The vocal duet of Anna and Katia participated in The Festival of the Modern Jewish Song (Moscow, 1999), The Pliner Festival of the Jewish Culture (Kazan, 2002), the festivals of the Klezmer music Klezfest (St.Petersburg, 2000, 2003). They are laureates of the regional festival-contest The Music Spring for Children (1999) as well as other regional contests and festivals. The duet performed in many Russian cities, as well as in Kassel, Germany (2001, 2005) and Chicago, USA (2010).
In July 2002, Anna and Katia participated in the international seminar Yiddish un Yiddishkeit in Warsaw, Poland, where they not only improved their command of Yiddish, but also performed their concert program Abisl Glick. The song Afn Pripechek, performed by the vocal duet, was broadcasted by a major Polish national TV Network. In August 2003, Anna and Katia participated in the 12th International Nahum Goldman Fellowship in Glamsta, Sweden.
In July 2003, Anna, Katia, and Yakov Kazyansky released the CD of Jewish songs Abisl Glick (A Little Bit of Happiness).
In 2005, Anna married Ilya Korzhenevich, their daughter Maya was born in 2012, and their daughter Ella was born in 2014. In 2010, Anna earned an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Currently, she lives in Chicago and works as an Assistant Director at Chess Scholars.
In 2009, Katia earned a BA in International Communication, Translation and Information Technology from Universitaet Hildesheim. In the same year, Katia married Alexander Elbert, their son Michael was born in 2011, their son Ronald was born in 2017. In 2014, Katia also earned a BSc in Information Technology from Franklin University. Currently she lives in Columbus, Ohio and works as a Quality Assurance Analyst at Alliance Data Systems.