Regina Spektor is a Jewish, Russian born musician, most famous for her Anti-folk music which became popular in the New York City’s East Village. Reginas’ upbringing had a strong influence on her style and development as a musician. Her mother, Bella Spektor, was a professor of music at a Soviet college of music. Her father, Ilya Spektor, is a photographer and amateur violinist. Reginas’ music displays her passion for a classic style with influences from popular music genres.
Regina Spektor was born in Moscow, Russia, and spent the first nine years of her life in the Soviet Union. During her childhood, Regina was heavily exposed to classical music; she first discovered her musical talent on a Petrof upright piano gifted to her mother by Reginas’ grandfather. During her time in the Soviet Union she was also influenced by famous Russian Bards such as Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava.
Regina Spektors’ parents were reluctant to emigrate from the Soviet Union because of the intensity of her musical studies. However, in 1989, the Spektors left the Soviet Union due to ethnic and political discrimination against Jews. First moving to Austria, and then to Italy, Regina and her family were eventually admitted to the United States as Refugees and moved to The Bronx in New York. Regina continued to live in the New York City area for the duration of her secondary education.
After her relocation to the United States, Regina Spektor continued to pursue her musical interests by studying piano under Sonia Vargas, a professor at the Manhattan School of Music. During this time, Reginas’ classical style developed into her present style of music which includes influences from other genres such as Hip Hop, Punk, and Rock. She followed her secondary education by completing an studio composition program at a four-year conservatory program, located in Purchase, New York, in only three years.
Regina Spektor first gained musical recognition in New York City. However, her fame has become international in recent years due her growing presence in American popular culture. Her music has been frequently used in television programs and cinema. Her music has been featured in prominent television programs such as CSI: New York, Grey’s Anatomy, and How I Met Your Mother. Films that have used her music include Love and Other Drugs, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and (500) Days of Summer. In 2010, Regina Spektor performed at the white house for President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and hundreds of White House guests in honor of Jewish Heritage Month.
Regina Spektor performed “Us” during her white house performance in 2010 for Jewish Heritage Month. “Us“ was also featured in the opening credits of the film, (500) Days of Summer, which starred famous actors such as Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Minka Kelly. “Us” can be found on Regina Spektors’ album, Soviet Kitsch.
“Regina Spektor.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
Spektor, Regina. “Us.” Regina Spektor – “Us” [OFFICIAL Video]. N.d. YouTube. YouTube, 13 Nov. 2006. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.