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Shchedrin, Rodion Konstantinovich
Born Dec. 16, 1932, in Moscow. Soviet composer. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1976).
In 1955, Shchedrin graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, where he had studied composition with Iu. A. Shaporin and piano with Ia. V. Flier. He has created important works in a variety of genres, including the operas Not For Love Alone (1961) and Dead Souls (based on the novel by N. V. Gogol; libretto by the composer, 1977) and the ballets The Humpback Horse (1960), The Carmen Suite (based on the opera by G. Bizet, 1967), Anna Karenina (1972), and The Seagull (1980). All the above works were first staged at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
In his music Shchedrin methodically combines elements of Russian folklore and innovative compositional devices. Among his works are the oratorio Lenin in the Heart of the People (1969), Poetic Oratorio (to words by A. A. Voznesenskii; 1968), and two symphonies (1958 and 1965; second version, 1976). Shchedrin has also composed two concerti for orchestra— Mischievous Ditties (1963) and Chimes (1968); three concerti for piano and orchestra (1954, 1966, and 1973); works for piano, including 24 preludes and fugues (1970); and the Polyphonic Notebook (1972).
Shchedrin became chairman of the administrative board of the Composers’ Union of the RSFSR in 1973. He was a deputy to the sixth, ninth, and tenth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1972 and was made an honorary corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in 1976. In 1962 he became a member of the Soviet Committee for the Protection of Peace. Shchedrin has been awarded two orders and various medals.