Mravinskii, Evgenii Aleksandrovich
Born May 22 (June 4), 1903, in St. Petersburg. Soviet conductor; People’s Artist of the USSR (1954), Hero of Socialist Labor (1973).
Mravinskii graduated in 1931 from the Leningrad Conservatory, where he had studied conducting under N. A. Mal’ko and A. V. Gauk. From 1932 to 1938 he was the conductor at the S. M. Kirov Theater of Opera and Ballet. In 1938 he became the principal conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, which under Mravinskii’s direction has joined the ranks of the world’s finest orchestras.
Mravinskii is among the greatest of the present-day masters of the art of conducting. Central to his repertoire are the symphonies of Beethoven, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, and Honegger. Mravinskii’s significant achievements are linked with his interpretation of works by Soviet composers. Many works by D. D. Shostakovich, including his Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth symphonies, received their first performance under Mravinskii’s direction, as have works by S. S. Prokofiev, A. I. Khachaturian, and a number of Leningrad composers.
Mravinskii’s conducting is noted for its scope of conception, clarity of artistic aim, balance between intellectual and emotional elements, and polish and perfection. In 1936–37 and again from 1961 he has taught at the Leningrad Conservatory, since 1963 with the rank of professor. He toured Europe and North America, the first time in 1946. Mravinskii won first prize at the All-Union Conducting Competition in 1938. He has also won a State Prize (1946) and a Lenin Prize (1961). He has been awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and a number of medals.
REFERENCESBogdanov-Berezovskii, V. Sovetskii dirizher. Leningrad, 1956.
“K 70-Ietiiu Mravinskogo.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1973, no. 6.
Bialik, M. “Rytsar’ muzyki.” Muzykal’naia zhizn’, 1973, no. 12.