Tikhon Khrennikov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Khrennikov, Tikhon Nikolaevich


Born May 28 (June 10), 1913, in Elets. Soviet composer and public figure. People’s Artist of the USSR (1963); Hero of Socialist Labor (1973). Member of the CPSU since 1947.

In 1936, Khrennikov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, where he had studied composition with V. la. Shebalin and piano with G. G. Neigauz. In 1961 he joined the teaching staff of the conservatory, becoming a professor there in 1966. In 1948 he became general secretary of the governing board of the Composers’ Union of the USSR; he was made first secretary in 1957.

Creatively developing the traditions of the Russian classics and Soviet music, Khrennikov included in his works the inflections of Russian folk music and Soviet popular songs. His music is filled with optimism, joie de vivre, heroism, bright lyricism, humor, and creative energy. Khrennikov’s work for the musical and dramatic theater has received wide public recognition. His compositions include the operas During the Storm (based on Virta’s novel Solitude, staged 1939 and, in revised form, 1952; Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater, Moscow), Frol Skobeev (staged 1950, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater; second version under the title the Son-in-law Without Kith or Kin, staged 1966 at the Novosibirsk Theater of Opera and Ballet and in 1967 at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater), and Mother (based on M. Gorky’s novel of the same name, staged 1957, Bolshoi Theater). Khrennikov also wrote the music for the fairy-tale opera The Giant Boy (staged 1969, Moscow Children’s Musical Theater), the operettas One Hundred Devils and One Girl (staged 1963, Moscow Theater of Operetta) and The White Night (staged 1967, Moscow Theater of Operetta), and the children’s ballet Our Courtyard (staged 1970, Bolshoi Theater). His music for Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing was very popular (staged 1936, Moscow Vakhtangov Theater) and was later used for the ballet Love for Love (staged 1976, Bolshoi Theater).

Khrennikov’s three symphonies (1935, 1943, 1973) and his orchestral concerti for piano (1933, 1972), violin (1959, 1975), and cello (1964) were major contributions to Soviet music. His achievements in song composition have been significant. His songs, most of which are from the scores of motion pictures and plays, include “Song of Moscow” (from the film The Swine Girl and the Shepherd, 1941, lyrics by V. M. Gusev). Other popular songs are from the films Faithful Friends (1954) and The Hussar Ballad (1963). Khrennikov also wrote the scores for the films At Six in the Evening After the War (1944) and The Donets Miners (1950).

Khrennikov has been president of the music sections of the All-Union Society for Foreign Cultural Exchange since 1949 and of the Union of Soviet Societies for Friendship and Cultural Exchange With Foreign Countries since 1958. He has also been a member of the Central Auditing Commission of the CPSU since 1961 and a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU since 1976. He was a deputy to the sixth through ninth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Khrennikov received the Lenin Prize of the USSR in 1974, the State Prize of the USSR in 1942, 1946, 1952, and 1967, and the M. Glinka State Prize of the RSFSR in 1979. He has also been awarded three Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.


Kukharskii, V. Tikhon Khrennikov: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1957.
Kremlev, Iu. Tikhon Khrennikov. Moscow, 1963.
Martynov, I. I. Tikhon Khrennikov: Tvorcheskii portret. Moscow, 1967.
Tikhon Khrennikov: Stat’i o tvorchestve kompozitore (collection). Moscow, 1974.


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