Oleg Timofeyev

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Oleg Vitalyevich Timofeyev (Russian: Оле́г Вита́льевич Тимофе́ев, Oleg Vital'evič Timofeev; born January 12, 1963 in Moscow), is an American musicologist and musician of Russian origin, specializing in lute and Russian guitar. He is best known for his pioneering work in the discovery, promotion, interpretation, and authentic performance of the repertoire for the 19th- and 20th-century Russian seven-string guitar.

Oleg V. Timofeyev
Oleg Timofeyev, IARGUS 2007, Iowa City
Background information
Born (1963-01-12) 12 January 1963 (age 51)
Genres Classical music
Occupations Guitarist, lutenist and musicologist.
Instruments guitar, lute
Labels Centaur, Dorian, Hänssler Classic, Naxos



Timofeyev comes from a musical family, being the son of cellist Natalia Timofeyeva. He began his study of the classical guitar in the early 1980s under the tutelage of Kamill Frauchi, about whom he later produced a documentary film, Frautschi (Timofeyev & Gölz 2008). He holds an M.A. in Early Music Performance from the University of Southern California (1993), and a Ph.D. in Performance Practice from Duke University (1999) (Timofeyev 1999). Since 1983 he has been performing early music on authentic instruments of the plucked family (lute, guitar). In 1989 his musical interests brought him to the U.S., where he studied with Patrick O'Brien, James Tyler, and Hopkinson Smith.

Professional work

Revival of the Russian seven-string guitar

Since earning his doctorate he has worked for the revival of Russian music played with authentic technique on the seven-string guitar, often in collaboration with other artists, including the Russian Roma guitarist Sasha Kolpakov, the Kolpakov Trio (Timofeyev, Kolpakov Trio and Talisman 2005), and the American guitarist John Schneidermann (Timofeyev and Schneidermann 2006). Among the fruits of his research has been his rediscovery and recording the music of Matvej Pavlov-Azancheev (1888–1963), who was among the rare composers for the seven-string guitar in the first half of the twentieth century.

Timofeyev has performed and taught widely in Europe and the United States. A recipient of numerous scholarly awards, including IREX and Fulbright fellowships, he has taught and lectured at Maimonides State Academy (Moscow), Duke University, the University of Kansas, Northwestern University, Princeton University, the University of Iowa, Grinnell College, and the Smithsonian.


Scholarly publications

  • Timofeyev, Oleg (1996). "Francesco and Matelart in a Moscow Music Shop". Lute Society Quarterly 30 (4): 16–23. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (1998a). "Marco Bazzotti. La Chitarra Eptacorde Nella Cultura Russa dell’Ottocento". Il Fronimo 103: 27–40. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (1998b). Thomas Ford. Lyra Viol Duets. Critical edition with a scholarly introduction and commentary. Madison: A-R Editions,. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg Vitalyevich (1999). The Golden Age of the Russian Guitar: Repertoire, Performance Practice, and Social Function of the Russian Seven-String Guitar Music, 1800–1850 (Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Music, Duke University). Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Dissertation Services (UMI Number: 9928880). pp. xviii + 584. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (2001a). "Guitar (Russia)". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (2001b). "Aksyonov, Semyon Nikolayevich". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (2001c). "Alexandrov, Nikolaj Ivanovich". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (2001d). "Morkov, Vladimir Ivanovich". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (2001e). "Sarenko, Vasily Stepanovich". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (2001f). "Zimmerman, Fyodor Mikhajlovich". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 

Film- and discography

  • Timofeyev, Oleg (1997). The Wandering Lutenist (CD). Centaur Records. CRC-2409. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (1999). The Golden Age of the Russian Guitar (CD). Dorian Recordings. DOR-93170. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (2000). The Golden Age of Russian Guitar, Vol. 2 (CD). Dorian Recordings. DOR-93203. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (Russian Seven-String Guitar, Artistic Director); Anne Harley (Soprano, Co-Director); Irina Rees (Harpsichord); Etienne Abelin (Baroque Violin) (2002). Music of Russian Princesses From the Court of Catherine the Great (CD). Dorian Recordings. DOR-93244. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (2004). Guitar in the GULag: Guitar Music by Matvei Pavlov-Azancheev, 1888–1963 (CD). Hänssler Records. 098458000. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg, Kolpakov Trio & Talisman (2005). A Tribute to Stesha: Early Music of Russian Gypsies (CD). Naxos World Music. 76065-2. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg & John Schneidermann (2006). Music Of Mikhail Glinka / The Czar's Guitars (CD). Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler. PH-07008. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (guitar), Natalia Timofeyeva (cello), Robert Paredes (clarinet), Matthew Burrier (accordion) & Daniel Moore (percussion) (2007). Rhapsody Judaica (CD). Marquis Music. MAR-349. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg (2007). Shavlego: Guitar Music by Georgian Composers (CD). Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler. PH-07072. 
  • Timofeyev, Oleg & Sabine I. Gölz (2008). Frautschi (DVD). Arbatfilm. 

External links

  • Олег Витальевич Тимофеев - Biography in Russian in the Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedic Dictionary: Guitarists and Composers by V. V. and S. V. Tavrovskij (В.В. и С.В Тавровские, ред., Иллюстрированный биографический энциклопедический словарь: Гитаристы и композиторы)
  • - Timofeyev's personal website
  • International Academy for Russian Musica, Arts, and Culture - Foundation for the promotion of the Russian seven-string guitar, its music, and tradition
  • Iowa Roots: Oleg Timofeyev, Russian Jewish Guitarist - Interview with audio files and text by the Iowa Arts Council
  • Mel Bay Artist's Profile: Oleg Timofeyev
  • Talisman Ensemble

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