Evgenii Fedorovich Svetlanov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Svetlanov, Evgenii Fedorovich


Born Sept. 6, 1928, in Moscow. Soviet composer, conductor, and pianist. People’s Artist of the USSR (1968).

In 1951, Svetlanov graduated from the Gnesin Institute of Music and Pedagogy, where he studied composition under M. F. Gnesin and piano under M. A. Gurvich. In 1955 he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied composition under Iu. A. Shaporin and conducting under A. V. Gauk. In 1954, while still a student, he became assistant conductor of the Full Symphony Orchestra of the All-Union Radio and Television. Beginning in 1955, Svetlanov served as conductor and from 1963 to 1965 as principal conductor of the Bolshoi Theater of the USSR. Here he conducted the operas The Tsar’s Bride by Rimsky-Korsakov, The Sorceress by Tchaikovsky, Not for Love Alone by Shchedrin (premiere, 1961), and October by Muradeli (premiere, 1964), as well as premiere performances of the ballets The Path of Thunder by Karaev (1959), The Pages of Life by Balanchivadze (1960), The Night City, to music by Bartók (1962), and Paganini, to music by Rachmaninoff (1963). Since 1965 he has served as artistic director and principal conductor of the State Symphony Orchestra of the USSR.

Svetlanov is an outstanding interpreter of Soviet Russian music. He was the first in the USSR to perform many works by Soviet and foreign composers, including Joan of Arc at the Stakeby Honegger, Turangalîla-Symphonie by Messiaen, and A Survivor From Warsaw by Schoenberg. Svetlanov has also composed a symphony (1957), a cantata, symphonic poems, a string quartet, and vocal and instrumental works. He has toured abroad.

Svetlanov has been awarded the Lenin Prize (1972) for his concert work. He has also been awarded the Grand Prix (France) for his recording of all of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, various medals,” and the Bulgarian Order of Cyril and Methodius First Class.

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