Chesnokov, Pavel

Chesnokov, Pavel Grigor’evich


Born Oct. 12, (24), 1877, near Voskresensk, in what is now Moscow Oblast; died Mar. 14,1944, in Moscow. Soviet choral conductor, teacher, and composer.

In 1895, Chesnokov graduated from the Synod School as a choral conductor. In 1917 he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, where he had studied composition under S. N. Vasilenko; he had previously taken lessons from S. I. Taneev and M. M. Ip-politov-Ivanov. He taught at the Synod School (Choral Academy) from 1895 to 1920. From 1920 to 1944, Chesnokov taught choral conducting at the Moscow Conservatory, becoming a professor in 1921. He developed courses in choral conducting and methods of working with choirs. He was the principal conductor of the Moscow State Chorus from 1917 to 1922, led the Moscow Academic Chorus from 1922 to 1928, and served as choral director of the Bolshoi Theater.

Chesnokov was one of the most important masters of Russian choral art, which he raised to a high level through his diverse musical activities. His book The Chorus and Choral Conducting (1940; 3rd ed., 1961), which deals with theoretical problems of choral art, was the first solid and detailed study of choir conducting in the Soviet and world literature. Chesnokov composed many musical works, including choral pieces and art songs.