Samuil Abramovich Samosud

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Samosud, Samuil Abramovich


Born May 2 (14), 1884, in Tbilisi; died Nov. 6, 1964, in Moscow. Soviet conductor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1937).

Samosud graduated in 1906 from the Tbilisi Music School. He subsequently studied in Prague with H. Wihan, in Paris with P. Casals, and at the Schola Cantorum. From 1917 to 1919 he served as conductor of the Mariinskii Theater; from 1918 to 1936 he held the posts of principal conductor and musical director of the Leningrad Malyi Opera Theater. Samosud directed the premieres of the operas The Nose (1930) and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (1934) by Shostakovich and The Quiet Don (1935) by Dzerzhinskii. He was principal conductor of the Bolshoi Theater from 1936 to 1943 and of the Stanislavsky-Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater in Moscow from 1943 to 1950.

Samosud’s repertoire included Virgin Soil Upturned by Dzerzhinskii (1937), Ruslan and Liudmila (1937, new stage edition) and Ivan Susanin (1939; State Prize of the USSR, 1941) by Glinka, and Taras’ Family by Kabalevskii (1947, 2nd edition 1951; State Prize of the USSR, 1952). Samosud also presented Prokofiev’s War and Peace (1946, Leningrad Malyi Opera Theater; State Prize of the USSR, 1947). He founded and directed the USSR State (All-Union) Radio Orchestra (1953–57) and the USSR State (All-Union) Radio and Television Opera Symphony Orchestra (1957).

Samosud was awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.


Sovremennye dirizhery. Moscow, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.