Aleksandr Grechaninov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grechaninov, Aleksandr Tikhonovich


Born Oct. 13 (25), 1864, in Moscow; died Jan. 4. 1956, in New York. Russian composer.

The son of a merchant, Grechaninov studied at the conservatories in Moscow (1881–90, under V. I. Safonov. A. S. Arensky. and S. I. Taneev) and St. Petersburg (1890–93, under N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov). He taught music theory in the Gnesiny’s music school in Moscow and later directed the children’s choir at T. L. Berkman’s school. He participated in the work of the Musical-Ethnologic Commission at Moscow University.

Grechaninov’s choral and chamber vocal works, as well as his arrangements of folk songs, have the greatest significance. He made an important contribution to children’s music, composing three operas, songs, choruses, and piano pieces for children. He wrote the music for the Moscow Art Theater’s performances of works, including Tsar Fedor loannovich (1898) and The Death of loann the Terrible (1899). Among his works are the opera-bylina (epic folk song) Dobrynia Nikitich (1901, presented in 1903). which was composed in lyric song and art song style, and the opera-legend Sister Beatrice (based on M. Maeterlinck’s work, 1910, presented in 1912), which shows some influence of symbolism. Grechaninov also composed the comic opera Marriage (based on N. V. Gogol’s work, 1946, staged in 1948) and orchestral and chamber instrumental works. After 1925 he lived abroad, first in Paris and after 1939 in the USA. In 1943, under the influence of the Soviet Army’s victories, Grechaninov wrote the symphonic poem “To Victory” (words by A. S. Pushkin and Grechaninov).


Moia muzykal’naia zhizn’. Paris, 1934.
My Life. Introduction and translation by N. Slonimsky. New York, 1952.


Aleksandrov, Iu. “Stranitsy zhizni.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1964, no. 10.
Nelidova-Faveiskaja, L. “Poslednie gody.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1964. no. 10.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Later, we are told that "Leonid Sabaneyev (1881-1968) and Aleksandr Grechaninov (1864-1956) were composers who had emigrated from Russia; they represented a very conservative and traditional aesthetic" (p.