Skulte, Adol’f Petrovich
(Ādolfs Skulte). Born Oct. 15 (28), 1909, in Kiev. Soviet composer and teacher. People’s Artist of the Latvian SSR (1965).
In 1934, Skulte graduated from the Riga Conservatory, where he studied composition under J. Vītols; he completed the master’s course at the conservatory in 1936. In 1936 he became an instructor, and in 1952 a professor at the Latvian Conservatory, where he was head of the subdepartment of composition from 1948 to 1972. His students included A. Grīnups, R. Kalsons, and Im. Kalniņš. From 1952 to 1956, Skulte was chairman of the administrative board of the Composers’ Union of the Latvian SSR.
Skulte primarily wrote large-scale symphonic compositions, including five symphonies: For Peace (1954), Ave, Sol! (1959), based on the narrative poem by J. Rainis, Cosmic Symphony (1963), Symphony No. 4 (1965), and Symphony No. 5 (1974). Other compositions include symphonic poems and suites and musical stage works, including the opera Princess Gundega (1971), the ballet The Sakta of Freedom (1951; State Prize of the USSR, 1951), based on themes from Rainis’ drama I Played and Danced, and the ballet Spring Thunderstorm (1967). Skulte also wrote music for films, including the score for the film Rainis (State Prize of the USSR, 1950). Skulte has been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.