Composers Union of the USSR

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Composers’ Union of the USSR


(from 1932 to 1957, the Union of Soviet Composers), a voluntary organization of composers and musicologists of the USSR. The Composers’ Union was established in 1932 in response to the resolution On the Restructuring of Literary and Artistic Organizations, which was issued by the Central Committee of the ACP(B) on Apr. 23, 1932. The organization strives to unite its members for the purpose of creating works of high ideological and artistic merit that affirm the principles of socialist realism and develop the traditions of the national cultures of the peoples of the USSR. It also seeks to inculcate composers and musicologists with the spirit of communist ideology and to assist their creative growth and the development of their professional skill.

Between 1932 and 1940 organizations of the Composers’ Union were established in Moscow, Leningrad, the capitals of the Union and autonomous republics, and the administrative centers of some oblasts. In 1939, by a resolution of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR, the Organizational Committee of the Composers’ Union of the USSR was created. In 1948 (April 19–25) the first All-Union Congress of Composers was held; the congress adopted a charter and elected an executive board. Subsequent convocations of the congress were in 1957, 1962, 1968, and 1974. The supreme body of the Composers’ Union is the All-Union Congress of Composers. The union’s executive board holds plenary sessions once or twice a year and elects from among its membership the secretariat, which directs the union’s activities between plenary sessions. The secretariat includes representatives of the leading organizations of the union. Since 1948 the general secretary (subsequently the first secretary) of the board of the Composers’ Union has been T. N. Khrennikov. As of September 1978, membership totaled 2,098.

The Composers’ Union runs the Sovetskii Kompozitor Publishing House, which publishes the magazines Sovetskaia muzyka (Soviet Music) and Muzykal’naia zhizri (Musical Life). Also administered by the Composers’ Union are the All-Union Bureau of Propaganda of Soviet Music, which organizes concerts, composers’ performances, and festivals, and the Music Fund of the USSR, which is an economic organization that deals with financial and day-to-day matters. Representatives of the Composers’ Union belong to international organizations, including the International Music Council of UNESCO and the International Society for Music Education. The union was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1968.


Soiuz kompozitorov SSSR: Mezhdu s”ezdami, 1968–1974. Moscow, 1974.


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