Yudik Mullodzhanov left an indelible mark on the history of the Bukharian Jewish community he was so proud to be part of.
Yudik was born on June 18, 1942 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in a well respected family. His father, Rabbi Ribi Mullodzhanov Rubinovich (1900-1976), was a leader in the Bukharian Jewish community in Dushanbe for over 40 years as well as a WWII veteran. Yudik’s mother, Rebbetzin Zulay Avramova Mallayeva-Mullodzhanova (1909-1950), was a religious woman who read Torah, took care of the household and nurtured six children: Avreh, Misha, Alik, Yudik, Sara, and Lisa. When Yudik was 8 years old, his mother sadly passed away during childbirth making his childhood more challenging.
Yudik discovered a love of music early on. It was his North Star and he never lost sight of it. This love, together with strong family support is what helped Yudik rise above life’s challenges, pursue his dreams, and have a happy, meaningful life.
Yudik learned to play the ghijak at an early age from his older brother, Alik, and performed together with him in parks. In 1957, at age 15, Yudik entered music school, with ghijak as his primary instrument. There he spent 2 years and upon graduation applied to Music College. During entrance exams he was advised by a composer, Yakhiel Sabzanov, to change his instrument to viola. After some hesitation, Yudik agreed and in 1959 entered the class of Kryuchko Evgenii Vasiliyvich. For two years, Yudik learned to play viola and while still studying, he was hired part-time to play in the orchestra of the Mayokovsky’s theater. In 1964, Yudik’s teacher passed away and he continued his study under the tutelage of Bolotin Genadyi Natanovich, recent graduate of Minsk Conservatory. Upon graduation from music college in Dushanbe, Yudik was selected by the committee from Moscow to continue his music studies in Gnesin's Academy of Music in Moscow.
In 1965, Yudik began his viola studies in Moscow under the tutelage of Professor Alexander Vasiliyevich Bagrintsev. Yudik also worked in the music school of Krasnoarmeyski (Moscow region) at the time of his study. In 1968, while studying viola, Yudik discovered his love of singing. He began taking private lessons with Professor Mordvinov Vladimir Ivanovich. In 1970, Yudik graduated from Gnesin's Academy of Music and came back home to Dushanbe.
In Dushanbe, Yudik worked as a teacher of violin and viola at the Special Music School for gifted children. At the same time, he worked as a violin teacher in the Music College and also in the Art Institute of Tajikistan of Mirzo Tursunzade.
On February 4, 1976, Yudik married Tamara Yusupova, a great pianist and teacher receiving her Masters Degree from the Gnesin's Academy of Music in Moscow. Upon graduation, Tamara also worked in the Special Music School for gifted children in Dushanbe. Working alongside each other, Yudik and Tamara educated the next generation of musicians, preparing them for various festivals, music competitions, as well as entrance exams to Moscow Music Institute and Conservatory.
Yudik and Tamara had 4 children and created a beautiful family. They created a cultured love of music in their children. Each of them learned to play a musical instrument. Zulya played piano, Ruben played the cello, Negmat played violin and Shoista played piano and improvised. While their children thrived in different professions, Shoista continues in the footsteps of her parents creating and sharing her music with the world.
On September 29, 1994, due to a civil war in Dushanbe, Yudik immigrated to the United States with his family. The United States, the land of opportunity, did not bring everything to Yudik on a silver platter. He had to work hard, doing different jobs unrelated to music (e.g. working as a cook in a restaurant) until he finally achieved his goal of continuing his music teaching career in the United States. Yudik built a large class of students teaching violin, piano, and singing. In addition to teaching, Yudik also performed in different events, recorded videos for his Youtube channel and released 2 CDs.
In 2014, at the age of 72, Yudik was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis due to the genetic disorder, hemochromatosis. In 2015, Yudik had a successful liver transplant. After the surgery, Yudik had mostly retired from teaching, but continued to sing.
Yudik Mullodzhanov left this world on March 18, 2020. His light continues to shine in the hearts of his family members, friends, students and the many lives he touched through his music and acts of kindness.