Alexander Rosenbaum is a Soviet and Russian bard from Saint Petersburg. He is coming to Los Angeles with his new Anniversary concert "It's been a fifty after childhood"
He is best known as an interpreter of the blatnaya pesnya (criminal song) genre.
Rosenbaum graduated from the Pavlov Medical School in 1974, and worked in the medical field for four years. His musical education consists of piano and choreography courses at a musical school. In 1968, while still a student, Rosenbaum started writing the songs for which he is famous. His early songs were for student plays, but he soon also wrote for rock groups and started performing as a singer-songwriter in 1983, sometimes under the pseudonym "Ayarov".
Among his most famous songs are the ones about Leningrad, the Soviet-Afghan War, Cossacks, and the Jewish Mafia in Odessa. Songs such as "Gop-Stop" (a comedy about two gangsters executing an unfaithful lover) and "Vals-boston" (The Boston Waltz) are popular across Russian social groups and generations.
Rosenbaum accompanies himself on either a six- or twelve-string acoustic guitar, using the Open G tuning adopted from the Russian seven string guitar.
His attitude toward the criminal song genre can best be illustrated by his own words:
“...Only a dull-witted person would think that this should not be, that this is wrong. All those songs that I call "songs of confinement," that have lasted and will last, are works of art, and as a rule they are written by cultured and educated people. Because everything that is composed in huge quantities at penitentiaries can very rarely be described as [high quality] work... It is very important to understand why those songs are composed, for whom and how. ... They are set in a criminal context, they contain criminal themes, but they are not at all about that. If you read and listen to them carefully, they will tell you of faithfulness, love and many other things. ... I am sometimes asked: "Why do you not write blatnaya pesnya anymore?" I am not interested in it today. The nondescript chaos now has abated somewhat, fortunately, but three, four or five years ago you switched on the crate - and had low-down trash rushing at you... Not the blatnaya pesnya that I treat with respect, but cheap blatota".