Nikolai Nikolaevich Cherepnin

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cherepnin, Nikolai Nikolaevich


(also N. K. Tcherepnin). Born May 3 (15), 1873, in St. Petersburg; died June 27, 1945, in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris. Russian composer, conductor, and teacher.

Cherepnin graduated from the faculty of law at the University of St. Petersburg in 1895; in 1898 he graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he had studied with N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov. He conducted concerts of the Russian Society of Music and the Beliaev Symphony Concerts; he was a conductor at the Mariinskii Theater from 1906 to 1909 and at the St. Petersburg People’s House from 1908 to 1913. From 1909 to 1914, Cherepnin took part in the Russian Seasons Abroad.

In 1905, Cherepnin began teaching classes in conducting at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he became a professor in 1909; his pupils included A. K. Gauk, V. A. Dranishnikov, and S. S. Prokofiev. From 1918 to 1921 he was director of the Tbilisi Conservatory. In 1921 he emigrated to Paris, where he founded the Russian Conservatory.

Although Cherepnin was in his later career influenced by the impressionist composers, his music, especially his early works, reflects the classic traditions of Russian music. His finest works are symphonic program compositions, such as the prelude La Princesse lointaine (1896), and such ballets as Le Pavillon d’Armide (1903; staged 1907) and Narcissus and Echo (1911). Cherepnin also composed operas, instrumental and vocal chamber works, and choral works, including Do Not Weep Over the Corpses of Fallen Warriors.


Vospominaniia muzykanta. Leningrad, 1976.


Tompakova, O. “N. N. Cherepnin.” Muzykal’naia zhizn’, 1974, no. 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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