Chulaki, Mikhail

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chulaki, Mikhail Ivanovich


Born Nov. 6 (19), 1908, in Simferopol’. Soviet composer, teacher, and figure in the music world. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1969). Member of the CPSU since 1943.

In 1939, Chulaki graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory, where he had studied composition with V. V. Shcherbachev. From 1937 to 1939 he was associated with the Leningrad Philharmonic Society, first as director and later as artistic director. He was deputy chairman of the Committee for the Arts of the Council of Ministers of the USSR in 1951 and 1952 and assistant head of the Central Board for the Arts under the Council of Ministers of the USSR from 1952 to 1955.

Chulaki was with the Bolshoi Theater from 1955 to 1959 and from 1963 to 1970, first as director and later as artistic director. He began teaching at the Leningrad Conservatory in 1933, and in 1948 he accepted a teaching post at the Moscow Conservatory, where he was named a professor in 1962.

Chulaki’s finest works are the ballets The Tale of the Priest and His Worker, Blockhead (1940), based on the narrative poem by A. S. Pushkin; The False Fiancé (1946), based on the play by C. Goldoni; and Youth (1947), based on themes from N. A. Ostrovskii’s novel How the Steel Was Tempered. Other notable works are the Symphony No. 2 (1945), Symphonic Concerto (1959), and the orchestral work Songs and Dances of Old France (1959). In addition to articles on music, Chulaki has written the book Instruments of the Symphony Orchestra (1950), which has been reprinted many times.

Chulaki was a deputy to the sixth and seventh convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1947, 1948, and 1950. Chulaki has been awarded three orders and various medals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.