Sofia Gubaidulina Collection

Sofia Asgatowna Gubaidulina
Russian composer

born 24 October 1931 in Chistopol, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia


The Sofia Gubaidulina Collection contains, in particular, the fair copies of over 140 compositions, along with numerous sketches and drafts of her oeuvre. In 1992, after deciding to take up residence in Germany in the long term, the composer handed over the documents related to 45 compositions to the Paul Sacher Foundation. Since then, additional manuscripts have regularly supplemented the Collection. The available sketches and drafts provide essential insights into the technical and intellectual principles of her composing. In addition, the fair copies indicate further work processes, as they reveal both minor and extensive revisions made between the first performance and the printing of her works.

Sofia Gubaidulina in Basel, May 2010 (photo Bruno Caflisch)
Sofia Gubaidulina in Basel, May 2010 (photo Bruno Caflisch)

Sofia Gubaidulina is one of the leading composers from the former Soviet Union. She received her musical training first in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, before continuing her studies at the Moscow Conservatory. Before long, she increasingly detached herself from the influences of her Moscow teachers and explored concepts and techniques of the Western avant-garde as far as the USSR’s restrictive cultural policy allowed. At the same time, she also explored new sound worlds with Viktor Suslin and Vyacheslav Artyomov in a most practical fashion when the three met to improvise on unusual instruments in the ensemble Astreja.

Sofia Gubaidulina, sketch for Alleluja (1990)
Sofia Gubaidulina, sketch for Alleluja (1990)

As a freelance composer, Gubaidulina wrote music for almost thirty films from 1964 to 1990. In addition, she also managed to delight an ever-growing audience in the concert hall, especially from the 1980s onwards. Through the performances of musicians such as Gidon Kremer and Mstislav Rostropovich, she became a composer celebrated worldwide. In her numerous works for the most diverse instrumentations, she convinces with both tonal sensitivity and a high constructive standard that reflect her manifold interests in mystical-religious ideas, but also cosmogonic and cosmological themes.

Scope of holdings

  • Music manuscripts: sketches and drafts, ca. 970 pages, and fair copies, ca. 7900 pages (largely accessible on microfilm)
  • Programs / reviews: 5 archival boxes
  • Photos: 1 archival box


ca. 1946–2019


  • 1992 Collection enters the PSS holdings
  • since 1994 regular additions


  • Sofia Gubaidulina Collection: Music manuscripts (5 April 2023)  –  PDF online
  • Internal lists can be consulted at the PSS
  • Sammlung Sofia Gubaidulina: Musikmanuskripte [Sofia Gubaidulina Collection: Music Manuscripts], Inventories of the Paul Sacher Foundation, vol. 21 (Mainz: Schott 2001) – OUT OF PRINT

Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung

  • no. 34, 2021: Noah Kahrs, Dissonant Proportions in Sofia Gubaidulina’s Meditation über den Choral “Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit” von J. S. Bach
  • no. 30, 2017: Katharina Hötzenecker, Auf den Spuren der "Außerzeit": Die Skizzen zu Hommage à T. S. Eliot und zum Streichtrio als Schlüssel zu Sofia Gubaidulinas Zeitverständnis in der zweiten Hälfte der 1980er Jahre
  • no. 14, 2001: Valeria Tsenova, Number and Proportion in the Music of Sofia Gubaidulina

External links

Editor: Boosey & Hawkes


14 August 2023