Oscar Feltsman was a Soviet composer who, after getting savaged by Pravda in 1941, confined himself to musical comedies. When these failed to please the authorities he turned in the mid-1950s to writing pop songs.
His most successful song was ‘I believe, my friends’, composed in 1961 to celebrate Yuri Gagarin’s triumph in the first manned space flight.
Aside from his many popular hits, Feltsman wrote cycles of Jewish songs, including a set on poems by the Zionist writer Haim Nahman Bialik. He died in a Moscow hospital yesterday, two weeks short of 92. He is mourned by his son, the Russian-US pianist Vladimir Feltsman.