Edward Kalendar


Edward Kalendar spent his early years in Lvov, Ukraine.  It was there, at the age of eight, that he heard jazz music for the first time.  The appreciation and performance of jazz in the Soviet Union in the 1950s was considered an unpatriotic activity.  Despite official disapproval, Kalendar nurtured his love for the genre by memorizing jazz performances from late night “Voice of America” radio broadcasts.  He received his musical training at the Tashkent and Moscow Conservatories, where he studied classical composition under Albert Malakhov, Boris Zeidman and Aram Khachaturian.  Kalendar also participated in a seminar conducted by Pierre Boulez during his residency at the Moscow Conservatory.

During his conservatory years, Kalendar became enthralled with the contrapuntal technique of Paul Hindemith, the tonal colors of the French Impressionists, the rich folklore-inspired harmonic language of Bartok and the orchestration of Shostakovich and Prokofiev.  These composers were the major influences on Kalendar’s compositional style.  As a performer, Kalendar dreamed of a time when playing jazz publicly would be accepted in the Soviet Union.  While still a student, Kalendar formed and conducted an underground big band made up of fellow jazz enthusiasts.  The band met clandestinely for seven years.  When the Soviet government relaxed its policy towards jazz in 1970s, Kalendar proceeded to introduce the genre to the public and to young musicians through his inspired teaching and his numerous performances at newly organized jazz festivals.

Mr. Kalendar composed for his first feature film entitled, Autumn Novella in 1973.  He proceeded to score twenty-five more documentary, feature and animated film projects from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s.  During that time, he achieved widespread popular acclaim as a songwriter and composer and his music was frequently broadcast throughout the Soviet Union and in Europe.  Mr. Kalendar was a conductor of the Tashkent Radio Orchestra from 1968 to 1976.  He continued to make regular appearances as a guest conductor of the Orchestra until 1993.  Kalendar was also music director of the Theater of Folklore Arts in Moscow from 1991 to 1994.

In 1994 he and his family moved to New York, where he continued his multi-faceted musical life. Mr. Kalendar has made concert appearances at the Alice Tully Hall, Rockefeller Center, Vail Jazz Festival, the Kremlin Palace Concert Hall, Theatro Gran Via Madrid, Steppingstone Waterside Theater, the United Nations and other prominent venues of the United States and Europe.  He has performed with saxophonists Bob Berg and Larry McKenna, multi-instrumentalist Chris Brubeck, bassist James Cammack, vibraphonist Ray Alexander, Indian movie star Amitabh Bachchan, clarinetist Giora Feidman, the New York Big Band with Joe Battaglia and many more.

Edward Kalendar is an insightful and dedicated instructor with over twenty-five years of experience teaching in NY.  His classical composition, theory or jazz performance students have continued their music education at the Oberlin Conservatory,  Mannes College of Music, Princeton University, Harvard University, the Moscow Conservatory and the Jerusalem Academy of Music. Many former students of Edward Kalendar have become professional composers (classical, film and songwriters), jazz singers or instrumentalists.

Mr. Kalendar’s works have been performed by the Moscow Cinema Orchestra, the Tashkent State Opera Theater, the Lopes Latin Jazz Group, the Jerusalem Saxophone Quartet, jazz singer Larisa Dolina, clarinetist Giora Feidman, pianist Christopher Falzone, the Youth Chamber Orchestra at Temple University in Philadelphia, Manhattan Symphonie Orchestra, the Bachanalia Chamber Orchestra, participants of the Delaware Chamber Music Festival, members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic and the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra. Mr. Kalendar’s music and arrangements are distributed worldwide by Melodia Records and Hal Leonard Corporation. Mr. Kalendar is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).  He and his wife, Asya, reside in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  Edward Kalendar