Piatnitskii, Mitrofan Efimovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Piatnitskii, Mitrofan Efimovich


Born June 21 (July 3), 1864, in the village of Aleksandrovka, now in Voronezh Oblast; died Jan. 21, 1927, in Moscow. Soviet musician. Performer and collector of Russian folk songs. Honored Artist of the Republic (1925). Founder (1910) of the Russian Folk Chorus (since 1940, the Piatnitskii State Russian Folk Chorus).

The son of a sexton, Piatnitskii studied at a theological school. From 1899 to 1923 he worked as a clerk in a Moscow hospital and took singing lessons from K. Everardi. In 1903 he became a member of the Music and Ethnology Commission of the Moscow Society of Lovers of Natural Science, Anthropology, and Ethnology. Piatnitskii also gave recitals of folk songs.

Piatnitskii made phonograph recordings of approximately 400 folk songs, most of which he collected in Voronezh. Some of these songs were published in two collections (1904 and 1914). In addition, Piatnitskii assembled collections of folk instruments and costumes. Piatnitskii’s folk chorus gave its first performance in 1911 in Moscow. After the Great October Socialist Revolution, the chorus developed into a major performing group. V. I. Lenin thought highly of Piatnitskii’s work. Many professional choruses have been modeled after Piatnitskii’s chorus.


Kontserty M. E. Piatnitskogo s krest’ianami. Moscow [1914].
Paskhalov, V. “M. E. Piatnitskii i istoriia vozniknoveniia ego khora.” In the collection Sovetskaia muzyka: Vtoroi sb. st. Moscow, 1944.
Martynov, I. I. Gosudarstvennyi russkii narodnyi khor im. Piatnitskogo, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1953.
Kaz’min, P. M. Stranitsy iz zhizni M. E. Piatnitskogo. Moscow, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.