«Sofia Rotaru» - biography, albums, songs, video clips

This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs; the patronymic is Mykhaylivna and the family name is Rotaru.

Sofiya Mykhaylivna Yevdokymenko-Rotaru (born August 7, 1947), known as Sofia Rotaru (Ukrainian: Софiя Михайлівна Ротару [sɔˈfijɑ rɔˈtɑru]; Russian: София Ротару; Romanian: Sofia Rotaru), is a former Soviet and current Ukrainian pop singer of Romanian descent.

Rotaru, nicknamed Bukovinsky Solovey (Nightingale from Bukovina), emerged in 1966 as a pop folk star in the movie Solovey iz sela Marshintsy (Nightingale from Marshyntsi) in the Romanian and Ukrainian-speaking world after her manager and future husband Anatoliy Yevdokymenko made her change her music style from folk to pop music with Chervona Ruta.

In 1972, Sofia released the multilingual album Sofia Rotaru, re-released three times and covered by numerous singers, establishing herself as a viable pop artist in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Rotaru had first gained international recognition after participating in 1968 in the International Youth Song Festival in Bulgaria and winning first prize at the Golden Orpheus in 1973 and second prize in the category of Polish songs at the Sopot International Song Festival in 1974. In the former USSR her career was marked by her stage success and numerous controversies. Rotaru has been acknowledged by the Kiev Patriarchate.

Rotaru has been performing for more than 40 years. According to polls, she is the most popular pop artist in Russia and topped the Moscow airplay with "Ya nazovu planetu imenem tvoim" in 2008. Rotaru reported the highest income of all celebrities in Ukraine in 2008.

Her repertoire consists of more than 40 albums and 400 songs recorded in many languages. She has received awards, deemed a Meritorious Artist of the Ukrainian SSR, People's Artist of Ukraine, People's Artist of Moldavian SSR, Laureate of the Young Communist League Prize, Hero of Moldova, and Cavalier of the Republican Order of Moldova. In August 2002 former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma and President of Russia Vladimir Putin gave awards to Sofia Rotaru for her 55th birthday, bestowing upon her the high rank of the Hero of Ukraine for her "outstanding personal merits in the sphere of art", and the Russian order "For merits before the Nation", respectively. While Sofia Rotaru commonly goes by her last name, her official last name is Yevdokymenko-Rotaru (Ukrainian: Євдокименко-Ротару). Yevdokymenko was the surname of her late husband. Yalta is her main residence, although she also lives in Moscow, Kiev, and Baden-Baden.


In the titles of the first musical movies where she starred, Solovey iz sela Marshintsy (Nightingale from Marshintsy Village) and Chervona Ruta, her name appears as Sofija Rotar'. Singer Edita P'ekha advised Rotaru to spell her last name in the Moldavian/Romanian way with a "u" at the end. Rotaru means "wheel maker" in Moldavian/Romanian. Rotaru's sister, Aurica Rotaru, also a singer, has said:

No, no one has imagined this, this is related to the fact that the village where we were born belonged at a certain time to Romania, this was territory of Romania. Right after the war, this territory was joined to Ukraine and my father was summoned to the military registration and enlistment office and was told that the Moldavian/Romanian family name should be changed into a Ukrainian one. The letter "u" was taken away and instead Rotaru we got Rotar' with the soft sign. This is how all of us got the family name Rotar'. But indeed, the right last name is – Rotaru...

Early life

On August 7, 1947 Sofia Rotaru was born in Marshyntsi, Chernivtsi Oblast to a family of brigadiers and wine-growers. Marshyntsi is a village of the Novoselytsky Raion (district), closely to the border with Romania and majority of its population is Romanophone (Romanian language speakers). She was the second child in a family of six children. A passport office employee accidentally wrote her passport birthdate as August 9 and as a result, Sofia Rotaru celebrates her birthday twice.

Sofia's father Mykhail Fedorovich spent the entire Second World War as a heavy machine gunner and traveled to Berlin. Injured, he returned home only in 1946, and was the first person to join the Communist Party in the village. Sofia's older sister, Zina (in full form, Zinaida), was born on October 11, 1942. As a child Zina endured severe illness and went blind. Zina possessed perfect pitch and easily memorized new songs so she taught Sofia many folk songs and became a second mother for her sister as well as teacher. Sofia Rotaru said: "We all learned from her – what a musical memory, what a soul!". Zina spent hours listening to the radio and learned numerous songs, as well as the Russian language, which she later taught to her brothers and sisters. At home, the Rotaru family spoke only Romanian. Sofia helped her mother and Zina with housekeeping, the education of her younger brothers and sisters, and in the mornings by going to the local market to sell home-grown products.

As a child, Rotaru participated in regional competitions of pentathlon and running.

Rotaru started singing from the first grade in the school choir, as well as in the church choir. However the latter was not acceptable to the school officials. Hence, she was threatened with an exclusion from the Young Pioneer organization. Rotaru was attracted by the theatre. She practiced in drama classes and sang popular folk songs in vocal classes. In the evenings, she used to take the only bayan at school and hide in the barn trying to find the proper melodies for her most loved Moldavian songs. Rotaru said:

"It is difficult to say, when and how did the music appear in my life. It seems that it has always lived in me. I grew up among music, it was playing everywhere: at a wedding table, at klatches, at girls' winter evening gatherings, on the dance floor..."

Her first teacher was her father who enjoyed singing as he was young, possessing a perfect musical pitch and a good voice. Rotaru learned at school to play bayan and domra, participated in amateur art activities,and performed in concerts in nearby villages. She was especially fond of house concerts. The six children of the Rotaru household made up a choir. Her father believed in the bright future of his daughter. He always said: "Sofia will become an artist". His belief gave Rotaru strength to overcome doubts about her vocation.


1962–1964: Career start and Ukrainian pop-folk

Rotaru's victory at a vocal competition of amateur performers opened the door to a regional review in 1962. In 1963 in Chernivtsi, she earned a first degree diploma at the regional amateur art review. In 1964, she won the all-republic festival of popular talents in Kiev. On this occasion her picture made it on the cover of № 27 of the magazine Ukraine in 1965. After graduation from high school, Rotaru decided to become a singer and entered the vocal and conductor department of the Chernivtsi Musical College. In 1964, Sofia Rotaru performed at the State Kremlin Palace. The first pop song performed by Sofia Rotaru was "Mama" by Alexander Bronevitskiy.

1968–1973: International recognition

In 1968, after graduation from college, Sofia Rotaru performed as a delegate of the IX World Festival of Youth and Students in Sofia, Bulgaria, as a member of an artistic group. She won First Prize in the competition of singers of folk popular songs. Bulgarian newspapers were full of headlines: "21-year old Sofia has conquered Sofia". Her performances of the Ukrainian folk pop song "Na kameni stoyu" (Standing on the Stone), Moldavian folk pop songs and "Valentina" by Gheorghite made headlines. The latter song was dedicated to the first female cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, who was present in the concert hall.

In 1968, Rotaru married Anatoliy Yevdokymenko, who at that time was a student at Chernivtsi University and a trumpet player in a student pop band.

In 1971, producer Roman Alekseev shot a musical film Chervona Ruta for Ukrtelefilm. The plot was about the tender and pure love of a girl from the mountains (played by Rotaru) and her relationship with a man from the industrial city of Donetsk. The name of the film means the rue flower, derived from an ancient Carpathian legend. Rue blossoms only on the Ivan Kupala night, and the girl who succeeds in finding a blooming rue will be happy in love. Songs of the composer Volodymyr Ivasyuk and other writers were co-performed by Zinkevich, Yaremchuk and other singers. The film enjoyed significant success. After the film was released, Rotaru received an offer to work in the Chernivtsi Philharmonic Society and with a backing ensemble called Chervona Ruta. Rotaru's husband Yevdokymenko became the artistic director of the ensemble.

As a result of collaboration with Volodymyr Ivasyuk, a cycle of songs was created based on the roots revival material in an orchestration characteristic of the 1960s and the 1970s in Continental Europe. Resulting works brought Rotaru great popularity in the Soviet Union, especially in Ukraine. This was largely due to the fact that the Soviet authorities eagerly promoted her art as an example of international Soviet culture, as she was an ethnic Moldavian/Romanian singing in Moldavian/Romanian, Ukrainian and Russian languages. Consequently Rotaru gained regular airplay on state radio and television and was systematically billed for state-organized concerts.

In 1972, Sofia Rotaru and Chervona Ruta participated in a tour in Poland with the programme Pesni i tantsy Strany Sovetov (Songs and Dances of the Country of Soviets).

In 1973, she received First Prize at the international contest of Golden Orpheus in Burgas, Bulgaria, performing the song "Moy gorod" (My city) of Doga, and Second Prize in the category of foreign performance of a song in the Bulgarian language. In the same year, she received the title Meritorious Artist of the Ukrainian SSR. Later, the songs which she performed in the Moldavian/Romanian language, "Codru" and "Moy gorod", became soundtracks for the film Vesenniye sozvuchiya – 73 (Spring accords – 73).

1974–1979: New authors and Moldavian lyricism

In 1974, Rotaru graduated from the Chişinău Art Institute of Gavriil Musicescu and participated in the Sopot International Song Festival in Poland, performing "Vospominaniye" (Remembrance) by B. Rychkov, and "Vodogray" by Ivasjuk. She received second prize in the category of Polish song for her performance of "Ktoś" (Someone).

In 1975, she became a soloist for the Crimean Philharmonic Society.

In 1976, due to her family being persecuted for celebrating Christmas, considered a religious holiday, Sofia moved from Chernivtsi to Yalta, transferring from the Chernivtsi Philharmonic Society to the Crimean Philharmonic Society.

After the death of Volodymyr Ivasyuk in 1979, a number of songs by Moldavian composers appeared in her repertoire penned by the Teodorovici brothers. By that time, Sofia Rotaru had ceased collaboration with Moldavian authors, primarily Eugen Doga. The latter had created rumors that the voice of Sofia Rotaru was created note by note on a computer.

Rotaru's songs of the period were created in collaboration with the following composers and lyricists: Arno Babajanian wrote "Verni mne muzyku" (Bring Me the Music Back); Aleksey Mazhukov – "A muzyka zvuchit" (But the Music Plays) and "Krasnaya strela" (Red Arrow); Pavel Aedonitskiy – "Dlya teh, kto zhdyot" (For Those Who Wait); Oscar Feltsman -"Only For You"; David Tukhmanov – "Aist na kryshe" (Stork on the Roof), "V dome moyom" (At My Home), and "Val's" (Waltz); Yury Saulsky – "A Usual Story" and "Osennyaya melodiya" (Autumn Melody); Aleksandra Pakhmutova – "Temp" (Tempo); Raimonds Pauls – "Tanec na barabane" (Dance on the Drum); Aleksandr Zatsepin – "Sovsem kak na Zemle" (Just like on Earth); V. Migulya – "Zhyzn'" (Life), and others. Rotaru was the first performer of the songs of Yevgeny Martynov, such as "Lebedinaya vernost'" (Swan Fidelity), "Jabloni v tsvetu" (Blossoming Apples), and "Ballada o materi" (Ballad About Mother). Another patriotic song, "Schastye tebe, Zemlya moya" (Be Happy, My Earth), caused political controversies, although both songs speak only of love for the land of one's birth, without political propaganda.

1980–1983: Acting career and new connections

In 1980, at the international song festival held in Tokyo, Rotaru won first prize for her performance of the Yugoslavian song "Obeshchaniye" (Promise) and received the Order of the Badge of Honor.

The singer continued to experiment and was the first Soviet female singer to appear wearing trousers on stage. While doing this, she performed a hip-hop style song "Temp" (Tempo) with music composed by Aleksandra Pakhmutova and lyrics written by Nikolay Dobronravov. The songs "Temp" and "Ozhidaniye" (Waiting) were specially written for the cultural programme of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. The song was used as the soundtrack theme for the drama film Ballada o sporte (Ode to sports), produced by Yuri Ozerov. In the same year, for her performance of "Ozhidaniye", Rotaru won the All-Union Song of the Year award.

In 1980, Rotaru starred in the leading role in a film released by Moldova-Film and called Gde ty, lyubov'? (Where are you, love?). Among other songs in the film, Rotaru performed "Pervy dozhd'" (First Rain). The movie featured her riding a motorcycle on a narrow sea embankment without a stunt double. According to the autobiographic plot, a village teacher is invited to join an ensemble and wins the Grand Prix at an international festival with the song "Gde ty, lyubov'?". The music for the song was composed by Raimonds Pauls and lyrics by Ilya Reznik. The rest of the composers of the soundtrack were Yevgeniy Martynov, Oskar Feltsman, Arno Babajanian, and David Tukhmanov. A double album of the soundtrack was released. More than 25 million movie goers viewed the film in 1980. The title song of the film was forbidden on state radio by Gennadiy Cherkassov, the director of the music department, because he did not like how Sofia Rotaru sang. In 1981, at the XIVth All-Union Cinema Festival in Vilnius, the film received the jury's prize for popularisation of the singing art of Soviet composers, in the section of drama films. This movie was the first public exposure for Rotaru in a dramatic role. Critics called it "clambaked"; nevertheless the film gained film viewers' respect and some of the film themes became popular.

The next artistic period began with a new style – rock music. The film Dusha (Soul) with Rotaru's new rock band Mashina Vremeni was released in 1981, including songs by Aleksandr Zatsepin and Andrei Makarevich. Due to her illness, Rotaru's doctors recommended that she not participate in the movie production and suggested that she cancel all concert performances. This incident caused Alexander Borodyansky and Alexander Stefanovich to write an autobiographical scenario for the film using the dramatic situation in the singer's life, characterising her loss of voice with an opening of her soul. This was shown in dialogue on a pier with an older man and included a reevalutaion of her values. After having seen the new rewritten scenario and new songs, written in a completely new style, Rotaru agreed to star in the movie and decided to temporarily forego all concert performances. The movie became a musical drama, touching not only the private life of an artist and human relationships, but also raising the question of the artist's attitude towards her talent and her responsibility to her audience. Rolan Bykov was the co-star of Rotaru for the movie, and the lyrical hero was played by Leningrad actor Mikhail Boyarsky. Rotaru said: "The producer suggested to completely change my image from what the people had got used to see me on stage. I think the movie may become a turning point in my artistic destiny. Anyway, this is an experiment, for which I am heading with joy. And as during any experiment, it is difficult to suppose how it will all end." The film experienced more than 45 million entries in Soviet distribution. In what director Stefanovich called the first music video in the Soviet Union, Sofia Rotaru and Mashina Vremeni were dressed in golden stretchy fabrics, jumping on a transparent trampoline, shot by a camera below it.

In 1983, Rotaru performed a national concert tour of Canada, organised by the National Concert Agency Inc. The concerts were supported by the issue of an LP, titled Canadian Tour 1983 and released by Cansov Exchange Inc.

1985–1989: Change of style – Europop and hard rock

The mid-1980s evolved into a turning point in the creation of the singer's image. Contrary to the previous Vas priglashaet Sofia Rotaru (Sofia Rotaru Invites You) (1985), the new film Monologue of Love (1986) explored the aesthetics of the new art. Only one song, "Techët voda" (Water Flows) by Ihor Poklad, carried on the folk music theme, presenting an image of a farm girl who became a star.

A new collaboration began in 1985 with the song "Lavanda" (Lavender), written by Vladimir Matetskiy for a duet with Estonian Jaak Joala. In 1986, she reversed artistic direction with the relatively unknown Moscow song writer. He managed the transition of Rotaru to a Europop style ("Bylo no proshlo" (Once It Was But Now It's Over), "Luna" (Moon)), including elements of hard rock ("Moya vremya" (My Time), "Tol'ko etogo malo" (That's Not Enough). During the next 15 years, Matetskiy and his co-author Mikhail Shabrov practically monopolized the right to collaborate with Rotaru. They produced songs, most of which became part of her concert programmes in 1990–2000, and these songs helped to establish a popular and charismatic personality for Rotaru with her unique vocal timbre. After the first collaboration many others have followed, including: "Luna, luna" (Moon, Moon), "Dikiye lebedi" (Wild Swans), "Heart of Gold", and "Zhyzn' moya, lyubov' moya" (My Life, My Love").

1990–1991: Among different cultures

The transition to a repertoire in the Russian language caused a certain amount of animosity in Ukraine. Accusations in betrayal of national culture were supported by the state producer unions, philharmonic societies, and concert companies who were losing control over the financial side of the concert and tour activity of Rotaru as a result of economic reforms. In order to avoid large scale provocations, Rotaru refused to participate in the Chervona Ruta festival which took place in Chernivtsi in 1989. The diminution of proportion of Ukrainian songs was caused by the absence of high-quality lyrics in Ukrainian. Rare exceptions included the songs of Nikolay Mozgovoy, ("Kray, miy ridniy kray" (Homeland), "Minaye den'" (Day Passes), Bliznyuk ("Ekho vernosti" (Echo of Fidelity), Rybchinskiy ("Bal razluchennykh serdets" (Ball of Separate Hearts), and Kvinta ("Chekay" (Wait), "Odna kalyna" (Lone Guelder-Rose), "Tuman" (Fog). In 1991, during a concert in Lviv, some people from the audience put up a poster in Ukrainian, translating into: "Sofia, a heavy penalty is waiting for you". Due to the incident, Rotaru did not perform in Ukraine until the end of the 1990s, after a personal request by the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma.

At the same time, Rotaru prepared a new concert program, presented to the public in 1991. Half of it consisted of remixes of classics of Ukrainian pop songs, including "Chervona Ruta", "Cheremshina" (Bird Cherry), "Maple Fire", "Kray", "Gray Bird", and "Yellow Leaf". Rotaru has not faced Ukrainian nationalist accusations since then.

1991–2004: New times

After the collapse of the USSR and commercialisation of the post-Soviet music, Rotaru has kept her top position in the market and has a stable public, including the Russian speaking diaspora in Europe, USA, Australia and Israel. In 2000 Rotaru was named the Best Ukrainian Pop Singer of the Twentieth Century. In 2001 Rotaru performed in a new solo concert program Zhyzn' moya – moya lyubov' (My Life Is My Love). The programme blended new songs with the hits of the previous years in a new manner. In 2002 Sofia Rotaru was awarded the title "Hero of Ukraine".

After the death of her husband Anatoliy Yevdokymenko, who had produced her programs, and the loss of her parents, Rotaru stopped touring for a period and joined a nunnery. Following several months of mourning, Rotaru resumed her concert and recording activities and topped the Russian, Ukrainian and Moldavian charts again.

A new period started in 2003 with performances in the Koncertny Zal "Rossiya" of Moscow, dedicated to the opening of her statue in front of the hall. The main composers working with Rotaru became Ruslan Kvinta ("Odna kalyna"), Oleg Makarevič ("Bely tanets" (White Dance)) and Konstantin Meladze ("Ya zhe yego lyubila" (Didn't I Love Him)), "Odin na svete" (One in the World)), as well as the lyricist Vitalij Kurovskij.

In 2004, after a four-year break, Sofia Rotaru gave two solo concerts: in Chicago and the Taj Mahal casino, Atlantic City.

During this time, Rotaru released the following albums: Yedinomu (For the Only One, 2003; with new songs and arrangements in Ukrainian and Moldavian/Romanian languages), dedicated to the memory of her deceased husband, Nebo – eto ya (Heaven – It's Me, 2004), and Ya zhe yego lyubila (Didn't I Love Him, 2005).

2007–today: 60th birthday

In 2007, Sofia Rotaru celebrated her 60th birthday. Hundreds of fans, as well as artists and politicians, came to Yalta to congratulate the singer. The President of Ukraine awarded Sofia Rotaru with the II Degree Order for Merits. Her official reception and birthday party took place at the Livadia Palace in Yalta, in the presence of the President of Russia, the President of Ukraine and the President of Moldova. The event was covered live by Ukrainian and Russian state TV channels. Celebrations for her birthday continued into September in Sochi, where one of the young performers' music festival days, called "Five Stars," was dedicated to Rotaru. In October 2007, more birthday concerts took place in Moscow, at the State Grand Kremlin Palace, featuring Russian singers performing Rotaru's songs: Joseph Kobzon, Filipp Kirkorov, Alla Pugacheva, Lev Leshchenko, Nadezhda Babkina, Larisa Dolina, Anzhelika Varum, Kristina Orbakaite, Masha Rasputina, Nikolay Baskov. Featured Ukrainian singers included Verka Serduchka, Taisia Povaliy, Valery Meladze, Potap & Nastya Kamenskikh, and TNMK.

The years 2006 and 2007 were busy for Rotaru. Three albums were released: Tuman (Fog) in Eastern Europe, and two albums exclusively for the German market, Serdtse ty moë (You Are My Heart) and Kakaya na serdtse pogoda (What's the Weather Like in the Heart). The year also included participation in numerous TV shows and concert programmes and a documentary made for Ukrainian TV. After filming, she took a one month break in January, which caused rumours about an illness or a car or plane crash. A Russian Anniversary Tour lasted from March until June 2007. Another TV musical show Krasota Trebuet (Beauty Requires), with Rotaru singing the song Lavanda (Lavender), premiered on March 8, 2008.


Several first impressions of Rotaru's performance have been recorded from professional critics. Dmytro Hnatyuk, a People's Artist of the USSR, said in 1964 after the Republican festival of popular talents in Kiev: "This is your future celebrity. Remember my words." Lyudmila Zykina, the president of the jury of the IX World Festival of Youth and Students in Sofia, said in 1968: "This is a singer with a great future..."


Rotaru was nominated the People's Artist of the USSR in 1988. Sofia Rotaru has sung more than 400 songs in Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Polish, Italian, English and German. She has performed in concerts in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Australia.


"Rodina" (Motherland) (original version)
"Rodina", a controversial song by Rotaru

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Sofia Rotaru does not support any particular political ideology. Nevertheless, her multicultural identity served both for and against her. Soviet authorities, persecuting her family for celebrating Christmas, simultaneously lauded her as the top singer of the USSR. The German press wrote about her as "The Conductor of the USSR". Some of her albums were recorded in Germany. After the recording of "L'immensità" (Immensity) in Italian and of "Wer Liebe sucht" (Who's Looking for Love) ("Deine Zärtlichkeit" (Your Tenderness), "Es muss nicht sein" (It Mustn't Be), and "Nachts, wenn die Nebel ziehen" (At Night When the Fog Spreads) the German label Ariola proposed releasing a bigger studio album with these and other songs in French and English, and launching a concert tour in Western Europe. However, a directive came from the Soviet government (Goskontsert) to sing only Soviet songs. Therefore, only the initial single was released "Deine Zärtlichkeit". The concert administration of the USSR prohibited her from leaving the USSR between 1983 and 1988. This interdiction was put in effect after the 1983 tour in Canada and the release of her Canadian Tour 1983 album.

During the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, Rotaru, together with her family, sent food packages to people who came to the Maidan Nezalezhnosti, regardless of their political affiliation.

In 2006 Rotaru took active part in parliamentary elections in Ukraine, balloting for the deputy chair as a second number in the list of Volodymyr Lytvyn's political formation Lytvyn Bloc; however, the bloc could not gather enough votes to enter Parliament, one of the major surprises of the elections. She held an all-Ukrainian charitable campaign tour the same year. Among the main reasons for supporting the Lytvyn political unit, Rotaru cited her personal trust of Lytvyn and his steadiness, as well as her own interest in lobbying for arts issues in Ukraine.


Singing in different languages caused fierce arguments about which culture Sofia Rotaru belonged to – Moldavian/Romanian, Ukrainian or Russian. She was considered as a "fellow" in Russia, and Armenia debated whether or not to award her with the Meritorious Artist of Armenian SSR. The singer, who always lived in Ukraine, considered herself to be a Ukrainian citizen, while not denying her Moldavian/Romanian roots. On her web page, she identifies herself as Ukrainian.

Personal life

Besides Sofia, Aurica, her younger sister, has also performed professionally, combining a solo career with performances as a back-up vocalist, as well as duetting with sisters Lidia and Eugenia. However, for Aurica, 1980s Italo-Pop duets were not successful, and in 1992 she ended her singing career. Sofia's husband, Anatoliy Kyrylovich Yevdokymenko, was a People's Artist of Ukraine (1941–2002). He was the son of a conductor from Chernivtsi. He first saw Rotaru on the cover of the magazine Ukraine № 27 in 1965 and immediately fell in love with her. At the time, Yevdokymenko was a serving his military duty in Nizhny Tagil, Ural region. After military service, he looked Rotaru up. Yevdokymenko had graduated from a musical high school, played the trumpet, and planned to create his own band. As a student at the University of Chernivtsi and a trumpeter in the student pop orchestra, he helped Sofia discover the pop orchestra. Before meeting him, Rotaru had used primarily violins and the cimbalom for musical backup.

I rather owe my coming into being as a singer and, probably, my personality, to those women with whom I worked in the village. It is really from them that I learned to understand the meaning of life. I received help – simple and magnanimous – from them in difficult times.


Main article: Sofia Rotaru discography


Sofia Rotaru was cast in seven musical films, her debut being in 1966 in Solovey iz sela Marshintsy (Nightingale from Marshintsy Village). She played the main characters in the films Chervona Ruta (1971), Gde ty, lyubov'? (1980) and Dusha (1981).


Rotaru fan clubs exist in many cities across Russia and Europe.

In 2009, the international press reported on Rotaru's alleged tax problems in Russia. The official representative of the Russian state prosecutor stated that an organised crime group presented itself as Rotaru's producers, and that she was not being investigated for tax violations.


Sofia Rotaru is a Meritorious Citizen of Crimea and Yalta. She has received numerous awards, including Meritorious Artist of the Ukrainian SSR, People's Artist of Ukraine, People's Artist of Moldavian SSR, People's Artist of USSR, Laureate of the YCL Prize, Hero of Moldova, and Cavalier of the Republican Order of Moldova. In August 2002, President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma and President of Russia Vladimir Putin honoured Rotaru on her 55th birthday, bestowing upon her the high rank of Hero of Ukraine for her "outstanding personal merits in the sphere of art", and the Russian order "For merits before the Nation".

Slavianski Bazaar
Preceded by
Alla Pugacheva
Through Art - to Peace and Understanding
Sofia Rotaru
Succeeded by
Valery Leontiev
Golden Orpheus
Preceded by
Zdzisława Sośnicka
First Prize
Sofia Rotaru
Succeeded by
Sergei Zakharov / Nereida Naranjo

See also

  • Pop music in Ukraine
  • Melancolie, Moldavian/Romanian song


External links

  • (Russian)
  • discography at Discogs
  • discography at MusicBrainz
  • on Myspace
  • at the Internet Movie Database