Ossovskii, Aleksandr Viacheslavovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ossovskii, Aleksandr Viacheslavovich


Born Mar. 19 (31), 1871, in Kishinev; died July 31, 1957, in Leningrad. Soviet musicologist. Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1938) and doctor of art studies (1943). Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1943). Member of the CPSU from 1945.

Ossovskii graduated from the law faculty of Moscow University in 1893. From 1896 to 1898 he studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory; and from 1900 to 1902 he studied composition with N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov. He wrote his first music critique in 1894. Ossovskii was one of the organizers and the editor in chief of the journal Muzykal’nyi sovremennik (Musical Contemporary, 1915–17). From 1915 to 1918 and from 1921 to 1952 he was professor of a course in music history at the Leningrad Conservatory. He was also a professor at Petrograd University from 1921 to 1923. In 1937 he became assistant director of the scholarly section at the Leningrad Research Institute for the Theater and Music and from 1943 to 1952 served as the institute’s director. From 1923 to 1925 he was director, and from 1933 to 1936 artistic director, of the Leningrad Philharmonic Society. He worked at the Hermitage from 1931 to 1933.

Ossovskii belonged to the progressive group of Russian music critics. He was a specialist on 18th-century Russian music aesthetics and on M. I. Glinka and N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov. In Russia he was one of the first to write critiques on the work of J. S. Bach, A. Vivaldi, A. Corelli, and J. P. Rameau.


Izbr. stat’i, vospominaiia. Leningrad, 1961.
Vospominaniia, Issledovaniia. Leningrad, 1968.
Muzykal’no-kriticheskie stat’i. Leningrad, 1971.


Bronfin, E. F. A. V. Ossovskii. Leningrad, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.