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Leonid Agutin
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Leonid Nikolayevich Agutin (Russian: Леонид Николаевич Агутин) born July 16th, 1968 is a Russian pop musician and poet, active since the 1990s. He has released 8 albums and 3 compilation albums. Agutin was born in Moscow to the musician Nikolai Petrovich Agutin and teacher Lyudmila Leonidovna Shkol'nikova. Along with receiving a standard education, he also graduated from the Moscow Jazz school "Moskvorechie" as a pianist. He later served in the army on the Russia–Finland border. In 1993, Agutin graduated from the Moscow State Institute of Culture as a theatre director and in 1997, Agutin married the stage performer Anzhelika Varum, which was his second marriage. Agutin has a hobby of collecting crosses and playing billards. He also believes in the predictions of astrologers.

In 1991, Agutin started touring the Soviet Union with a musical act. He participated and won the Yalta International Pop Music Contest of 1992, and won a similar contest in Jūrmala in 1993. Agutin released his first solo album, Bosonogiy Malchik ("Barefoot Boy") in 1994, which was the success that launched his career. Agutin released the album Cosmopolitan Life with the guitarist Al Di Meola in 2005, which gained success and worldwide recognition as a result of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Following the festival, the Austrian directors Hannes Rossacher and Rudy Dolesai made a documentary about the lives of Agutin and Di Meola, called Cosmopolitan Live, released in February 2008.

If, for some peculiar reason, there was a sudden need to list the most proficient and gifted pop authors since the demise of the Soviet Union, Leonid Agutin would have the best claim to the top spot. A native Muscovite, born in 1968, he has now granted Russian pop music with fourteen years of consistently impressive solo recordings with 11 CDs, while simultaneously enhancing the careers of fellow performers, most notably a woman he subsequently married - Anzhelika Varum.

A remarkable chanteuse in her own right, Varum's career had nonetheless struggled in the mid-90s. Much - in fact almost all - of her material at that time was being penned by her father, whose production bore the strong, and now unfashionable mark, of his career in Soviet recording studios. After Varum's marriage and creative partnership with Agutin, a wealth of new rhythms came to life. To this day, the couple remain a joy to watch performing live. Their work together promises to leave an impressive mark on music. They have already, in their collaboration called "Office Romance", produced one of the great Russian pop albums. Agutin's trademark gift to Varum and other singers is his Latin flair. His works can often be recognized after the first few bars. This passion for all things Hispanic was recently combined with the dazzling fingerwork of American jazz guitarist Al Di Meola.

Leonid Agutin and Al Di Meola - Cosmopolitan Live DVD at Amazon

Leonid Agutin in the Studio

Red Mud Barbecue Sauce

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