Who is Igor Sandler

Who is Igor Sandler

Who is Igor Sandler

Igor Borisovich Sandler is a Soviet and Russian music producer, showman, publisher, radio host and businessman. An honored Worker of Culture of Russia.


Igor Sandler was born on February 7, 1956 in Saratov. From the age of six he has begun to learn to play music. «Mom really wanted to learn how to play some musical instrument, and a violin has been bought for her as a child,» he recalled. «But the war had begun, and her dream didn’t come true. So she had tried to instill her love for music with me and my sister. From an early age I’ve begun to learn how to play the piano. At the same time, I was not at all a model of an exemplary boy from an intelligent family, but rather a «difficult teenager».
Music al education was long: 1 year — in the preparatory class, 7 years — in a music school, 4 years — in the Saratov Music College, 5 years — in the Saratov State Conservatory at the conductor’s faculty. Besides the classical music, Igor since his childhood was into the rock music, absorbing the music of The Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Jimi Hendrix and many other outstanding performers of the 60s and 70s. His favorite record with «Pictures from the Exhibition» by Musorgsky in the interpretation of Emerson, Lake & Palmer Igor had been listening to really intensely, «removing» keyboards, delving into the details of the arrangement.

On the fourth year of the conservatory Igor Sandler had been working for a year in the jazz-rock band «Seliger» under the direction of Evgeny Malyshev. The group «Seliger» had been working from the Kalinin Philharmonic. She had been playing jazz-rock and folk-rock. Evgeni Malyshev is one of the few in the world that have been playing two saxophones at the same time.

In 1978 to Saratov came the band «Integral» (show of Bari Alibasov), which Sandler soon joined. «When Integral had started working from the Saratov Philharmony, there was no keyboard player in the band,» he recalled. — I gathered up my courage and came up to Bari Alibasov. He met me with some skepticism, but when we had improvised a little bit together, he recognized that the Saratov musicians know how to play. »
By that time Igor was the owner of several expensive keyboard instruments. So it happened that some time ago Igor bought from the Yugoslav singer Ivica Scherefizi, who had come back then to Russia while being on tour, several instruments — the organ Crumer, the string Roland and Hohner Clavinet D6. With this technical arsenal, he joined the «Integral» and began to work, while studying at the fifth year of the conservatory. In 1978, rock music almost played a cruel joke with a graduate of the conservatory. «On the day when I was supposed to pass the final exams at the Conservatory, the famous musician Elton John came to Moscow,» Sandler recalled. — I could not allow that this significant event would take place without my participation, so I bought a ticket and went to the capital. Teachers had been trying to hold me down, saying that all the years of my studying would go down the drain, but I proclaimed that Elton John’s concert was more important to me than any of the examinations. By daytime I got to rehearsal, got acquainted with Elton himself, had been hanging out with him all day and in the evening got to his concert without any ticket and then flew back to Saratov by the first morning airplane. I had got to the exam right on time –so I wasn’t expelled, although they’d been threatening me to. »
Meanwhile, the band «Integral» has gained wide popularity and not without the help of the image of Igor Sandler, who has been appearing in the front of the audience in the image of a bald showman, which was being perceived by spectators «with a bang.»
«The bands such as» Time Machine «,» Resurrection «,» Autograph «and others were singing great songs, the emphasis has been made on the lyrics, but nothing special has been going on stage,» Sandler commented on the Integral performance. — And what was happening on our stage! For the first time in the USSR, we’ve been using pyrotechnics: shooting and explosions on stage, as well as creeping smoke … Stars, something is pouring from above, and I’m running out into the hall in an outfit with the wings, looking like an alien rocker.
I remember that I bought a net for butterflies … I was running out with it into the hall and was putting it on someone’s head, it’s hard to imagine what I haven’t been doing on stage… I flew over the audience with help of the parachute slings. The show was awesome! That as if to say that «Integral» was not a textual band, but rather a spectacular one. Well, and music, of course — hard rock, rock’n’roll. We were the first official rock band in the USSR, when everywhere there were only vocal-instrumental ensembles. Yes, we had two drummers — in Russia no one has done this before us. »

The band has been touring extensively through the vastness of the Motherland, invariably collecting full concert halls. Concerts in Moscow and Leningrad, too, were sold out. «On Sandler’s bald head, Integral took off to Olympus of Glory,» stated the director of the band Bari Alibasov.
In 1980, the band Integral was invited to the legendary festival «Tbilisi-80», which in essence became the first serious show of the best bands of the Soviet Union. Worthly, it became a laureate of this landmark festival, along with the «Time Machine» and «Autograph». It was it’s big time.


But in 1982 inside Igor already had been maturing a desire to gain creative freedom. After four years of work, Sandler leaves Integral to organize his own band called “Index-398” on the basis of the Lipetsk Philharmony (the name of the band owes it to the postal code of the city of Lipetsk). The second half of 1983 and the whole 1984 went on to create an original program, consisting of rock-processing of classical music. The main concept of the program was to show the organic connection of musical images of different epochs with the present, to introduce young people to the music of great classics. «If Mozart would live nowadays, he would get behind synthesizers,» Sandler comments his point of view. Besides music, Igor tried his hand in cinema, starred in the films “Star and Death of Joaquin Murieta”, “Recipe for Her Youth” and others.

In 1985, «Index» had begun an active touring. For almost two years in the band had been singing the famous singer, Laureate of All-Union and international competitions, the owner of a beautiful lyrical tenor, Albert Asadullin. With Albert «Index» created the program «Peace to the Earth», dedicated to the 40th anniversary of Victory, which included songs based upon the poems of R. Gamzatov, E. Evtushenko, A. Voznesensky, G. Tukay. The musical series were organically combined in the program with the visual — were used light effects, slides and even a laser (have to mention that “Index” was one of the most technically equiped domestic bands), as well as pantomimes and dance. «Everything is subordinated to a the only one goal, the main theme — the victory of Life over death, Good over evil, the victory of Beauty and Mind» … «The main motive — the confrontation of forces seeking to destroy our planet,» the newspaper Vechernyaya Kazan wrote on February 8, 1985. [source not specified 734 days]

The last concerts with A. Asadullin took place in December 1985 — January 1986 in the Moscow Central House of the Soviet Army. In the updated lineup the band had prepared a new program. In the first section there were rock arrangements of » hits of the classical music» — «Scherzo» by Bach, part I of the 40th symphony and «Turkish rondo» by Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov’s «The Bumblebee», fragments from «Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake», etc., carefully and with a good taste being rearranged by Sandler for synthesizers and a rock band. «The professional processing of classical music, which makes you not only listen and watch, but also to think and empathize,» wrote the Kaliningrad’s Komsomolets on November 23, 1986. [The source does not specify 734 days]

In the second section of the program, their own works of the Index were being performed, sustained in a wide style range — from art rock and jazz-rock to «new wave» and heavy metal. Listeners and critics in particular liked the «Symphoniotta in the fusion style «, which belongs to the pen of Igor Sandler. The group’s performances were still accompanied by impressive lighting effects and a slide show: Poussin’s paintings, Michelangelo’s frescoes, views of Notre Dame, avant-garde paintings were projected above the stage. «It’s a journalism in a way. We want our contemporary not only to listen, but also to see our music, we try to introduce him to the world of beauty, «Sandler said in the interview for the newspaper» Soviet Armavir «(February 25, 1987).

The year 1987 was also rich for events. Lipetsk’s band had been gaining more and more fans in various cities of Russia, including Moscow. Concert February 18 «Index-398» was broadcasted on the central television in the program «Peace and Youth». On March 29-30, 1987, the band participated in the All-Union competition of the newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda” and of the All-Union record company “Melodiya” called “Golden Kamerton-87” and became its Laureate (2000 applicants participated in the contest in total, 23 of them went to the finals). Final concerts of the contest were held in the sports complex «Olympic». In April the group gave a number of solo concerts in the Moscow HSS «Friendship». In July 1987, «Index-398» played a big solo concert within the confines of the 2nd festival of rock music «Peace-Music-Youth» in Novorossiysk. The fee for participating in the concert was transferred to the Peace Fund.
In 1988, «Index-398» as a vocalist joined Grigory Leps (later — a well-known solo artist). On September 8-9, 1989 the band participated in the Moscow charity festival «Ecology, Mercy, Beauty». In 1989, Igor began collaborate intensely with the English producer and director Barry White (the namesake of the famous singer) over the Russian production of the musical «The Guy Who Dared to Rock» in memory of Elvis Presley. On December 14-20 the premiere of the musical was held in Moscow and Leningrad. However, the preparation of Moscow concerts marred the tragedy: on a technical base, a fire occurred, the sound engineer Mikhail Zhbrikunov and the technician Igor Bondarev were tragically killed in it and all equipment was burnt. However, the hard trials for Igor Sandler didn’t end. The return visit of the “Index” to England did not take place, since Barry White himself soon died. After the play «Sports Miniatures» was being held with the participation of domestic «stars» of rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatics in January-February 1990 (Big Hall of the Olympic Village), Igor dismissed the collective and left for England alone. With the musicians of the deceased White he created the band Red Rock, with whom he’d been playing for two years in England, in pubs and small concert halls.

Besides the music, this time Igor tries his hand in cinema. As a movie actor, he made his debut as a gangster in the movie «The Star and Death of Joaquin Murieta», which was released in 1982, receiving a lot of positive reviews from movie critics. «The movie» The Star and Death of Joaquin Murieta «was a great success,» says Sandler. – The famous actors were starring there — Andrei Kharitonov, Alexander Yakovlev. Music was written by Alexei Rybnikov. On the set, I quickly got into the role, because I’m a hooligan on stage and off stage.

I remember that there was a very responsible scene in which we, six bandits (four of whom were musicians of “Integral”), come to kill the bride of Joaquin, while he is washing the gold. So, the girl in the house alone, and we came to rape her. And I was entrusted to be the first, with which, I hope, I coped well in the movie. However, later, according to the script, we were «kicked» for it … «.
In 1983, in the USSR the movie of Evgeny Ginsburg «The recipe for her youth» was released, where Sandler played his next role — the role of Death.

«A whole galaxy of our outstanding actors has been working there,» Sandler recalls. — Lyudmila Gurchenko, Armen Dzhigarkhanyan, Oleg Borisov, Alexander Abdulov, Anatoly Romashin, Sergey Shakurov. I played the role of Death, and so I had a very interesting costume and makeup.
It’s been started to be put upon me in about two hours before the shooting: they completely painted my face in the shape of a skull, they drew ribs on my body. My image was being completed by the tight suit and cloak. After the shooting, I was given a half-liter jar of vaseline and a large pack of cotton wool to remove all this «deadly» coloring. But my relationship with cinema was limited by only these two works, but I do not regret it at all, because I was a professional musician, and all my interests were focused around the main thing — music. »


With the musicians of the deceased White Sandler created the band Red Rock, with whom he’d been playing for two years throughout England in pubs and small concert halls.
«Together with bassist Kirk Spell and drummer Ray Steele, the musicians of the former Barry White’s band, we arranged a hard rock ensemble “Red Rock,» Sandler recalled. «Then the theme of perestroika was popular back then in England, and “Red Rock”, which became the first Russian-English ensemble on the shores of the Foggy Albion, was very popular.»


In the early 90’s Igor Sandler decides to return to his homeland. During the 1991-92 period, he step by step begins to engage business in Russia. «In 1991 I came back to Russia and wanted to re-arrange a rock band,» says Igor Sandler. — But looking around, I saw that «Tender May» reigns here, and realized that it is necessary to wait with this rock thing in our country and meanwhile I engaged business. We did a lot of things, but the apogee were curd cheeses with filling. Delicious glazed curds cheeses «Zebra» — the work of our hands. It was know-how, backed by two patents. For a while we had no competitors, and our Zebra brand it’s been a monopolist in this field for four years, until other companies stole the idea and became our competitors. » In 2004, Sandler had an idea to produce kosher dairy products, for the first time in Russia. It took two years to develope the brand and to prepare a factory for this program. Since 2006, kosher products started to appear on the market under the brand «Tevye Molochnik».

In 2010 Igor Sandler became totally focused on the music business, having opened one of the best recording studios in Russia. A concert agency, a rehearsal base, the best collection of musical instruments and cooperation with the best musicians of the world!

In his business card is written — Eric Clapton FRIEND!

A new project by Igor Sandler …


And if you did not see it, you lost a lot …