Kalinnikov, Vasilii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kalinnikov, Vasilii Sergeevich


Born Jan. 1 (13), 1866, in the village of Voiny, in present-day Mtsensk Raion, Orel Oblast; died Dec. 29, 1900 (Jan. 11, 1901), in Yalta. Russian composer.

Kalinnikov studied at the Orel Theological Seminary. In 1892 he graduated from the Music and Drama School of the Moscow Philharmonic Society. He played in an orchestra (bassoon), taught singing in city elementary schools, and appeared as a conductor. Beginning in 1893, as a result of illness (tuberculosis), he lived mostly in the Crimea. Symphonic works, including two symphonies (Symphony No. 1, 1895, performed in 1897 in Kiev and Moscow; Symphony No. 2, 1897) and the symphonic poem The Cedar and the Palm Tree (1898), constitute his major creative works. Ably continuing the traditions established by P. I. Tchaikovsky and the composers known as the “Russian Five,” he was a lyric composer by the nature of his talent. Symphony No. 1, his most integrated and complete work, brought him wide fame. Among his other compositions are music for A. K. Tolstoy’s tragedy Tsar Boris (1899), piano pieces, and art songs.


Pis’ma, dokumenty, materialy, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1959.


Pashkhalov, V. V. S. Kalinnikov: Zhizn’ /’ tvorchestvo. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
Keldysh, Iu. Istoriia russkoi muzyki, part 3. Moscow, 1954. Chapter 6.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.