Rikhter, Sviatoslav Teofilovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rikhter, Sviatoslav Teofilovich


(also S. T. Richter). Born Mar. 7 (20), 1915, in Zhitomir. Soviet pianist. People’s Artist of the USSR (1961); Hero of Socialist Labor (1975).

Rikhter first studied music with his father, who was a pianist and organist. From 1933 to 1937 he was concertmaster of the Odessa Theater of Opera and Ballet. In 1934 he gave a recital in Odessa. Between 1937 and 1947 (with interruptions), he studied with G. G. Neigauz at the Moscow Conservatory. He began performing in the USSR in 1940, and since the mid-1950’s he has appeared in many countries.

Rikhter is one of the outstanding pianists of our time. His playing bears the mark of a brilliant artistic individuality; it has great substance and is permeated with an exceptional power of imagery and the unyielding quality of his creative will. It demonstrates a brilliant technique and a wealth of tonal colors. Rikhter’s repertoire encompasses almost all styles, ranging from compositions by J. S. Bach to those of Debussy, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. He also performs in ensembles.

In 1945, Rikhter won first prize at the Third All-Union Competition of Musicians in Moscow. He has been awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1950) and the Lenin Prize (1961).


Mil’shtein, la. “Sviatoslav Rikhter.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1948, no. 10.
Del’son, V. Sviatoslav Rikhter. Moscow, 1961.
Neigauz, G. Ob iskusstve fortepiannoi igry, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1967.
Rabinovich, D. Portrety pianistov, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.