Uspenskii, Viktor Aleksandrovich
Born Aug. 19 (31), 1879, in Kaluga; died Oct. 9, 1949, in Tashkent. Soviet composer and specialist in folk music. People’s Artist of the Turkmen SSR (1929) and of the Uzbek SSR (1937); doctor of art studies (1943).
Uspenskii graduated in 1913 from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he had studied composition with A. K. Liadov. He found employment in Tashkent and in 1919 helped organize the Tashkent People’s Conservatory, at which he taught. In 1932 he became a research worker at the Scientific Research Institute for Art Studies. In 1934 he was appointed a professor at the Higher School of Music, which became the Tashkent Conservatory in 1936. Uspenskii headed three folklore expeditions in Turkmenia between 1925 and 1929, and in 1931 he led the first folklore expedition to the Fergana Valley.
Uspenskii wrote articles on Uzbek and Turkmen folk music and published transcripts of many examples of the music. His works include Shash-maqam (1924), Classical Music of the Uzbeks (1927), and Turkmen Music (1928; with V. M. Beliaev). He made an important contribution to the development of large-scale forms in professional Uzbek music through his compositions based on folk themes. Examples are Four Melodies of the Peoples of Middle Asia (1934), which was written for symphony orchestra, and the musical drama Färhad and Shirin (staged 1936), which was based on the narrative poem of the same name by A. Navoi.
Uspenskii was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor.