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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of musicians.

Dmitrii Iakovlevich Pokrass. Born Oct. 26 (Nov. 7), 1899, in Kiev. Soviet composer. People’s Artist of the USSR (1975). Member of the CPSU since 1940.

Dmitrii Pokrass began writing music while in the First Horse Cavalry Army. He wrote the song “Budennyi’s March” (1920; lyrics by A. D’Aktil), one of the first Soviet songs to gain national renown. He was also a variety stage composer, conductor, and pianist. From 1936 to 1972 he directed the variety stage orchestra of the railroad workers’ house of culture. He was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1941 for his music to the films We Are From Kronstadt (1936) and If’There Is WarTomor-row (1938). He also received the A. V. Aleksandrov Gold Medal (1973), four orders, and several medals.

Daniil lakovlevich Pokrass. Born Nov. 17 (30), 1905, in Kiev; died Apr. 16, 1954, in Moscow.

Together with his brother Dmitrii Pokrass, he wrote the music for a number of films. The Pokrass brothers wrote popular songs, including “Moscow in May” (from the film The 20th of May, 1937), “Farewell” (“A Komsomol Farewell Song,” 1938), and “March of the Tank Crewmen” and “The Three Tank Crewmen” (from the film Tractor Drivers, 1938).

Samuil lakovlevich Pokrass. Born 1897 in Kiev; died 1939 in New York. Variety stage pianist and composer; author of a number of songs, including “The Red Army Is the Most Powerful of All” (1920; lyrics by P. Grigor’ev).


Pokrass, Dm. “Pesni boevykh let.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1957, no. 11.
Shilov, A. V. Iz istorii pervykh sovetskikh pesen. Moscow, 1963.
Sokhor, A. “Kak nachinalas’ sovetskaia muzyka.” Muzykal’naia zhizn’, 1967, no. 2.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.