(also Stepan Timofeevich Niaga). Born Nov. 24 (Dec. 7), 1900, in Kishinev; died there May 30, 1951. Soviet composer, pianist, and conductor. Honored Art Worker of the Moldavian SSR (1943).
Niaga graduated from a music school in Kishinev in 1919 (piano course of Iu. M. Guz). In 1920 he moved to Bucharest, where he performed in a folk orchestra. In Bucharest, Niaga graduated from the Academy of Music and Drama. In 1937–39 he completed his training in Paris at the Ecole Normale (N. Boulanger’s composition course; A. Cortot’s piano course; C. Munch’s conducting course).
In 1940, Niaga returned to Moldavia. In 1940–41 and 1944–50 he taught at the Kishinev Conservatory, and in 1942–44 at the Moscow Conservatory (evacuated to Saratov). In 1947, Niaga became conductor of the symphony orchestra of the Moldavian Philharmonic Society. In 1946–48 he served as chairman of the board of the Union of Soviet Composers of the Moldavian SSR.
Niaga was one of the founders of Soviet Moldavian professional music. His Poem of the Dnestr (1943) laid the groundwork for a national symphonic style. He composed the first national Soviet cantatas (including Twenty-five Years of the Moldavian SSR, 1949; State Prize of the USSR, 1950); oratorios (including Song of Rebirth, 1951); a concerto for violin and orchestra (1943); chamber music, art songs; and choruses.
Niaga is the author of the national anthem of the Moldavian SSR (lyrics by E. N. Bukov and B. Istru, 1945). He served as a deputy to the second and third convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the Moldavian SSR. He was awarded the Order of Lenin.
REFERENCESShekhtman, N. I. Shtefan Niaga. Moscow, 1959.
Sofronov, A. S. Shtefan Niaga. Moscow, 1968. (References.)
N. I. SHEKHTMAN