Alexander Shulgin is a leading executive in the new Russian music industry, having worked with such iconic artists as Valeria, Mumiy Troll, Dima Malikov, Gruppa.fm and many others. Mr. Shulgin owns and operates Familia Entertainment, a record label, and Familia Publishing, a publishing company. In addition to top-10 songs, his catalogue includes a diverse array of rare releases, including hundreds of the best-known Russian gypsy songs, Songs of Siberian Exile and Best Songs of WWI, all of which are part of Russia's unique musical heritage.
Shulgin's career began at the age of 19 in the legendary Russian rock band The Cruise, regarded as the first rock-band of the USSR to tour abroad (1983-1986). Despite being known as anti-Soviet and no mass media attention, The Cruise went on to sell 20 million copies of their debut album in 1985.
After The Cruise, Shulgin began working in Germany, where he created The Taiga Symphony. A fusion of Russian classic music with western rock-music, the album featured The Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pavel Kogan and respected Western musicians Alvin Lee, Paul Carrack, Mel Collins, Phil Palmer and JJ Belle. The album was also the beginning of Valeria's career, who would become one of the most popular singers in Russia.
Shulgin then created another ambitious East-West collaboration with BBC Worldwide called Merry Christmas to the World. With lyrics and production by Richard Niles and music by Shulgin, it expressed the ethos of glasnost. London studio musicians performed with members of the Moscow Symphony and the Soviet Folk Orchestra. Sung by Valeria, the video was directed by Ken Russell who used it in his film Alice in Russialand (1998). Shot in Red Square, the clip featured psychic Uri Geller and became the grand finale of the New Year program on the first national TV channel of the Soviet Union.