Anatolii Konstantinovich Liadov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Liadov, Anatolii Konstantinovich


Born Apr. 29 (May 11), 1855, in St. Petersburg; died Aug. 15 (28), 1914, on the country estate of Polynovka, near Borovichi, now in Novgorod Oblast; buried in St. Petersburg. Russian composer, conductor, and teacher. From a family of musicians.

Liadov graduated in 1878 from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he had studied composition with N. A. RimskyKorsakov. That same year he began teaching at the conservatory, becoming a professor in 1886; from 1884 he also taught at the Court Choristers’ Chapel. His pupils included N. la. Miaskovskii, S. S. Prokofiev, M. F. Gnesin, and B. V. Asaf’ev. In the mid-1870’s he became very close to the members of the Russian Five, and in the 1880’s he joined the Beliaev Circle. He performed as a conductor in the 1880’s and 1890’s.

Liadov, one of the most outstanding representatives of the younger generation of the new Russian music school, composed works organically linked with Russian folk song and Russian classical music. His music is melodious, elegant, and balanced in form. He often turned to images from folk tales and everyday life. Liadov was a master of the short musical piece, and his compositions are characterized by laconic brevity of exposition.

Much of Liadov’s best work was written for the piano—preludes, etudes, arabesques, the cycle Biriulki (Spillikins), and “The Musical Snuffbox.” The short piece also is the basis of his symphonic writing, which is marked by highly characterized images and vivid orchestral coloring—for example, Baba Yaga (1905), the symphonic cycle Eight Russian Folk Songs (1906), The Magic Lake ( 1909), and Kikimora (1910). Liadov also wrote children’s songs with folk texts (3 books, 1887-90) and numerous adaptations of Russian folk songs (including four collections for voice and piano, published 1898-1903, and three collections for unaccompanied choir, 1899-1907).


An. K. Liadov (collection of articles and letters). Petrograd, 1916.
Asaf’ev, B. V. Izbr. trudy, vol. 2. Moscow, 1954.
Zaporozhets, N. A. K. Liadov: Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo. Moscow, 1954.
Mikhailov, M. Anatolii Konstantinovich Liadov: Ocherk zhizni i tvorchestva. Leningrad, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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