Kastal’skii, Aleksandr Dmitrievich
Born Nov. 16(28), 1856, in Moscow; died there Dec. 17, 1926. Soviet composer, active in choral art; music folklorist.
KastaFskii graduated in 1893 from the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied under Tchaikovsky, S. I. Taneev, and N. A. Gubert. He began teaching in 1887 and in 1910 became director at the Moscow Synod School, which was reorganized in 1918 into the Moscow People’s Choral Academy. From 1918 he was active in multifaceted educational work in the music divisions of the People’s Commissariat for Education, the Proletarian Cultural and Educational Organization, the Political Education Committee, and the Military Commissariat of Moscow. In 1922, Kastal’skii became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory, where his students included the composers D. S. VasiPev-Buglai and A. A. Davidenko.
Kastal’skii played a leading role in the development of Russian choral music, and in the early 1920’s was one of the first composers to write revolutionary songs for the masses and large-scale choral works about Soviet life—for example, V. I. Lenin (At the Tomb), 1924, for reader, chorus, and symphony orchestra. He wrote choral arrangements of folk songs and did research on Russian folk art.