Balasanian, Sergei

Balasanian, Sergei Artem’evich


(Balasaniants). Born Aug. 13 (26), 1902, in Askhabad (Ashkhabad). Soviet composer, teacher, musical and public figure. People’s Artist of the Tadzhik SSR (1957). Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1963). Member of the CPSU (since 1944).

Balasanian studied in the history and theory department of the Moscow Conservatory. He worked in Tadzhikistan (1936–43). He was a teacher at the Moscow Conservatory from 1948 to 1951 and again from 1955, becoming a professor in 1965. The development of Soviet multinational music is connected with the work of Balasanian. He is one of the founders of the Tadzhik musical theater.

Balasanian’s music is noted for its originality of tunes and inventiveness of rhythmic thought, which are associated with his use of elements of the folklore of Eastern peoples. Balasanian wrote the first Tadzhik opera, The Uprising at Vosse (staged in 1939 by the Tadzhik Theater of Opera and Ballet in Dushanbe); the musical show Lola (staged in 1939 in Dushanbe); the operas The Blacksmith Kova (staged in 1941 in Dushanbe) and Bachtior and Nisso (staged in 1954 in Dushanbe); the ballets Leili and Medzhnun (staged in 1947 in Dushanbe) and Shakuntala (staged in 1963 by the Latvian Theater of Opera and Ballet in Riga); symphonic works (including Seven Armenian Songs,1955, and Choral Symphony,1967); instrumental chamber works; romances; and music for dramatic performances and films. Balasanian was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1949) and five orders.