Oleg Vladimirovich Molchan (Aleg Uladzimiravich Molchan) was born on April 11, 1965 in a musical family in the heart of Minsk, on Nemiga, Rakovskaya street, 20. On his father’s side, the composer’s ancestors held the title of count. In 1983, he graduated from the Lyceum-School at the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society with a degree in choral conducting and piano. At the Secondary Special Music School, he sang in the boys’ choir under the direction of Igor Zhuravlenko, with whom he toured the USSR.
From the age of 16, he played in the Minsk jazz-rock ensemble “Dialogue” and in the restaurant “Yubileyny”, and in 1983 he was the head of the youth vocal and instrumental ensemble at the Palace of Culture of Railway Workers.
From 1985 to 1987, he served in ensemble the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where he led the army ensemble. At the same time, he created the choral cycle “I bring you a gift” based on poems by Yanka Kupala, which later became a classic of Belarusian musical art.
He studied for a year at the Minsk Institute of Culture in the Department of Pop Piano.
In 1988-1989 he was an artistic Director of the ensemble known as “Assorted” in the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society, which played in the style of art-rock. During this period, the songs “White Church”, “Dabrynya”, “Chipollino” and others were written, and the piano pieces “Ragtime” and “Melody” were released with the music publishing house known as “Belarus”.
In the autumn of 1989, Oleg Molchan was invited by Vladimir Mulyavin to join the Pesnyary ensemble with the author’s art-rock program “Avesole, or Skaryna word” based on poems by Alexander Legchilov. The piece by the 24-year-old composer was included in the program of anniversary concerts for the 20th anniversary of the band. None of the musicians had such a triumphant appearance in “Pesnyary”. Molchan came with his own conceptual program and brought a new breath to the sound and repertoire of the band. Since then, he has worked with the ensemble, making arrangements and participating in concerts. In 1991, he entered the Conservatory for the Composition Department, but after leaving with the “Pesnyary” in the United States of America with the program “Wreath”, he missed the exam session, after which he finally remained in the ensemble and was officially accepted onto the staff.
Oleg Molchan’s contribution to the creative treasury of “Pesnyary” can hardly be overestimated – from 1989 until the end of the next decade, he became, along with Vladimir Mulyavin, a key figure of the ensemble. It was Molchan who filled the niche that famous colleagues Igor Palivoda, Anatoly Gilevich and Arkady Eskin occupied in different years. Moreover, in December 1998, he became the first music director in the history of the ensemble. It was Oleg Molchan who in the nineties determined the musical policy of “Pesnyary”, oversaw rehearsals, and selected musicians.
Oleg Molchan is the author of dozens of songs, many of which have become classics of the ensemble such as “Margarita”, “Stasia”, “Farewell to Youth”, “Kuma”, “Sweet Woman”, and “Deceive Me”. And the legendary “Prayer” performed by Vladimir Mulyavin to the poems of Yanka Kupala became the spiritual anthem of Belarus. Today, “Prayer” lives and continues to be performed by other pop artists, as well as the Metropolitan choir of the Holy Spirit Cathedral, for which Oleg Molchan created a choral score.
Oleg Molchan made adaptations and arrangements of a considerable number of folk songs and compositions by other authors, including “Slutsk Weavers”, “Lyavonikha”, “Red Rose”, “Pagonya”, and more. The folk song “You Lied to Me” in modern processing by Molchan, of course, revived live performances of “Pesnyary” in the second half of the 90s.
With the participation of Oleg Molchan as a songwriter, arranger and keyboardist, “Pesnyary” created the programs “Wreath”(1991), “Voice of the soul “(1994) and “Cossack Freedom” (1996), as well as recorded the CD “Pesnyary – 25 years” in the Wisseloord Studio in the Netherlands.
Oleg Molchan also played a crucial role in overcoming crisis situations in the ensemble. So, in 1992, he helped Vladimir Mulyavin to recruit part of the new team. In 1997-1998 Molchan provided invaluable support to Mulyavin during the most dramatic period of his life, proving the viability of the band after the leaving of four of the seven main musicians. And three months later (March 8, 1998), the new line-up gave a concert at the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society, debunking the myth that they don’t want to work with Mulyavin. The musicians, invited by Oleg Malchan, took part in a grand concert in the State Central Concert Hall “Russia”, dedicated to the 30th anniversary of “Pesnyary”. And Vladimir Mulyavin invited him to this concert as a guest of honor, since the composer had already left the band. At this concert, the triumph was shared by the author of “Prayer” and its performer. After parting with “Pesnyary”, Oleg Molchan remained on friendly terms with Vladimir Mulyavin and other musicians of the ensemble.
Molchan’s departure of “Pesnyary” was a natural and creatively prepared. Before working in the ensemble, he directed three groups. The composer wrote music in different genres and styles and managed to combine work in “Pesnyary” with other creative plans. So, in 1994, he created a song cycle “On the Primanka River” based on poems by Valentina Akolova, which was performed by the National Academic Concert Orchestra of Belarus under the direction of Mikhail Finberg.
In 1993, Oleg Molchan began cooperation with the singer Irina Vidova. The first songs were recorded at the studio of “Pesnyary”, and the debut albums were recorded at commercial studios in 1995 and 1996. This unique creative and family union lasted for almost 26 years. Irina became the main person for the Maestro in life, his companion, favorite artist and author of words to his music, she inspired and supported him until the very last days. Their beautiful story of love and common creativity are worthy of literary and cinematic embodiment. The albums “Everything is very good” (1999), “Fly Away” (2001), “Love Said Yes!” (2006), “IV” (2009) and others were written and released for Irina Vidova. And the hits “Thought”, “Kisses”, “We Are not Strangers”, “Moon Dances”, and “On the Same Wave” are still heard on the air of leading FM radio stations. Songs written with love always found a response in the hearts of listeners. In 2006, the singer, whose repertoire includes only songs by Oleg Molchan, was awarded “The Golden Ear” music radio award, in 2011- the National music award, and in 2017- the winner of the international festival “Red Carnation”.
In 2000, Oleg Molchan created a recording Studio in the Union of Composers of Belarus.
In 2001, the composer was invited to join the State Committee for Youth Affairs as head of the Department for work with creative youth in the State unitary enterprise called “Juventus”. He has held numerous festivals, including the “FOR THE UNION” festival as artistic Director.
In 2005, Oleg Molchan wrote the music for the play “Ninochka” (staged by the National academic drama theater named after M. Gorky together with the French Embassy in Belarus).
In the 2010s, Oleg Molchan’s songs performed by Irina Vidova included “Liebe Love L’amour”, “For the Last Time”, “Falling into the Sky”, “Talisman”, “Road to Happiness” (words by Irina Vidova), “Two Poplars” (poems by Yanka Kupala, a duet with Akim Tyshko) and “My Country’s Ship” (poems by Ales Lipay), as well as performed by the vocal group “Clear Voice”, Leonid Bortkevich, Anatoly Kasheparov, Vadim Kosenko, the group “Buy City” and other groups and soloists.
In recent years, Oleg Molchan began to give his own author’s concerts, which invariably gathered full houses:
- 2008 – “Native songs” of the Belarusian Philharmonic Society;
- 2010 – “Oleg Molchan gathers friends” (for the 25th anniversary of creative activity) in the Palace of the Republic;
- 2015- anniversary author’s concert “My Song” at the festival of Belarusian song and poetry in Molodechno;
- 2016 – song cycle on the poems of Yanka Kupala “Prayer” in the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society;
- 2016 – “Irina Vidova and Oleg Molchan. Love said Yes!”, Belteleradiocompany.
In 2016, the composer created the song “Belarus” (words by Irina Vidova) by order of the Ministry of Culture for the 25th anniversary of the country’s independence. Oleg Molchan’s music is played in commercials of the companies “Fifth element”, “Beltelecom”, “Belture” and others.
In 2018, the composer created several works of choral sacred music, in particular, “Our Father”, “Troparion of the Mother of God all-Queen”, and “Czherubic song”, which were included in the repertoire of the Metropolitan choir of the Holy Spirit of the Cathedral (Regent Vitaly Sobolevsky).
Oleg Molchan was active in social activities in the area of copyright protection. In 2009, he facilitated the conclusion of a contract between ONT and the National Intellectual Property Center (NIPC), which led to increased fees for authors.
In 2015, he set a precedent and won a case in the Supreme Court on the processing of the musical piece “Prayer”, which went down in the history of Belarusian jurisprudence as a practice-forming one. In 2015, he was elected Chairman of the NIPC authors ‘ Council.
In 2016-2017 in the Supreme Court, Oleg Molchan and other authors won dozens of cases against cable operators, which as a result concluded contracts with the NIPC, which allowed to increase royalties by 30%.
And in 2018, he was elected President of the Eurasian Confederation of copyright holders ‘ societies (EACCH). The composer actively participated in international cultural forums, conferences, and performed in the Belarusian Parliament.
In 2019, Oleg Molchan was accepted to the Union of Composers of Belarus in absentia and unanimously.
Awarded the medal of F. Skorina (2018) and an international award – the gold medal of the world intellectual property organization, the highest award for success in creativity and the development of copyright (2019).
In 2020, the organizers of the festival known as “Red carnation” named after I. Kobzon and the composer’s widow Irina Vidova-Molchan established the Oleg Molchan prize.
In 2019, Melody, Melody Records and RayRecords released two new albums by the composer: “Oleg Molchan. Pesnyary, songs, processing” and “Irina Vidova and Oleg Molchan. On one wave”, which were presented on April 6, 2020.
On April 11, 2020, the Maestro’s birthday, “Belarus 3” broadcast an anniversary concert in memory of “Oleg Molchan-55”, and on April 18 – an anniversary concert “I bring you a gift” was held in memory of choral and pop music by the great Belarusian composer.