Mikas Petrauskas

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Petrauskas, Mikas


Born July 13, 1873, in Palūsė settlement, in what is now Ignalina Raion; died Mar. 23, 1937, in Kaunas. Lithuanian composer, conductor, and music figure.

The son of an organist, Petrauskas was the brother of K. Petrauskas. He received his musical training at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1906 after completing a curriculum in singing under S. I. Gabel’. In St. Petersburg he organized a chorus of Lithuanian students and workers for which he adapted Lithuanian folk songs. In 1903, also in St. Petersburg, he staged his operettas The Chimney Sweep and the Miller and Adam and Eve. In 1906 he staged his opera Birutė in Vilnius, the first musical production ever to be presented in Lithuania.

In 1905, Petrauskas had become friendly with members of the revolutionary movement in Vilnius, but in 1906 he was forced to go abroad. In Switzerland he set a number of revolutionary poems to music and adapted and translated revolutionary songs into Lithuanian. While he was living in the USA, he saw the production there of his opera Egle, Queen of the Snakes (1918) and a number of operettas. In 1920 he returned home, but his work received no encouragement in bourgeois Lithuania. Petrauskas composed two operas, many operettas, and more than 150 songs, including adaptations of folk songs.


Gaudrimas, lu. “M. Petrauskas.” In Iz istorii litovskoi muzyki, vol. 1. Moscow, 1964. Pages 139-75.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pemkus also collected the works of the first Lithuanian composers: compositions by Vincas Kudirka and Ceslovas Sasnauskas, songs and hymns by Juozas Naujalis and Stasys Simkus, operas and operettas by Mikas Petrauskas, also choral, chamber, and symphony music by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, and the most important pieces by Juozas Gruodis.
Liehmann, worked from 1883-1904, He taught the organ here and his pupils included such names as Mikas Petrauskas, Juozas Tallat-Kelpsa and Juozas Gruodis.