Aleksandr Sveshnikov

Sveshnikov, Aleksandr Vasil’evich


Born Aug. 30 (Sept. 11), 1890, in Kolomna. Soviet choral director and music figure. People’s Artist of the USSR (1956); Hero of Socialist Labor (1970). Member of the CPSU since 1950.

Sveshnikov attended the People’s Conservatory in Moscow, where he studied music theory under B. L. Iavorskii. In 1913 he graduated from the Moscow Synod School. In 1928, Sveshnikov organized the vocal ensemble (subsequently, chorus) of the All-Union Radio; he was director of the chorus until 1936. Between 1937 and 1941 he served as music director of the Leningrad Academic Choir. In 1942 he became music director of the State Chorus of Russian Song of the USSR. In 1944 he founded the Moscow Choral School, where he also served as artistic director. In 1944, Sveshnikov began teaching at the Moscow Conservatory, assuming the position of professor in 1946; he was rector of the conservatory from 1948 to 1975. He also organized the All-Russian Choral Society, where he served as chairman until 1964.

An outstanding figure in Soviet choral art, Sveshnikov has created many adaptations of folk songs. He has toured abroad. Sveshnikov has been awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1946) and the Glinka State Prize of the RSFSR (1967) for his concert performances. He has also been awarded three Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.


Tevlin, B. “Master khorovogo iskusstva.” Muzykal’naia zhizn’, 1962, no. 5.
Ptitsa, K. “Bol’shoi russkii talant.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1965, no. 10.