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Валентин Скобло


A.k.a. Валентин Аркадьевич Скобло (Valentin Arkadievich Skoblo)

Valentin Skoblo (b. 1932), or Валентин Скобло, was a renowned Soviet sound engineer, specialized in classical repertoire. For many years, he worked at Melodiya studios, collaborating with numerous notable performers and composers, such as Dmitri Shostakovich, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Yehudi Menuhin. Since the early nineties, Skoblo had been living in Toronto, Canada with his family. During the World War II, his brother and both parents died at Minsk Ghetto. Valentin, who was 12 years old at the time, survived thanks to a clandestine rescue operation, organized by Michail Gebelev, one of Nazi resistance leaders, and local official Vasily Orlov, who accommodated Jewish kids under fake names in various Soviet orphanages. After the war, Skoblo moved to Moscow, where he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory and started working as a classical sound engineer for Melodia, the only record label in USSR, which was also the largest music conglomerate in the world. Particularly specializing in piano recordings, Valentin Skoblo contributed to hundreds of live and studio albums. In the seventies, Skoblo travelled to Belarus again, trying to find out what happened to Gebelev and Orlov after the War. Many years of research and interviews led to an autobiographical novel On Survivor's Boat ('На уцелевшем челне' in Russian). In his memoirs, Skoblo described wartime experiences, as well as a professional music career. KGB and Soviet officials promptly banned this manuscript, since it uncovered some ideologically 'incompatible' historical facts, and Valentin's book was finally published in Canada in 1992.

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