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Vissarion Shebalin

  Vissarion Yakovlevich Shebalin (Russian: Виссарион Яковлевич Шебалин, June 11, 1902, Omsk–May 29, 1963) was a Russian composer.


His parents were school teachers. He studied in the musical college in Omsk. He was 20 years old when following the advice of his professor went to Moscow to show his first compositions to Glière and Myaskovsky. Both famous composers thought very highly of his compositions. Shebalin graduated from Moscow Conservatory in 1928. His diploma work was the 1st Symphony which the author dedicated to his professor Nikolai Myaskovsky. Many years later his last 5th Symphony was dedicated to his memory.

In the 1920s Shebalin was a member of the ACM - Association for Contemporary Music; he was a participant of the informal circle of Moscow musicians — “Lamm’s group”, who gathered in the apartment of Pavel Lamm, a professor from the Moscow Conservatory. Shebalin was a close friend of Dmitri Shostakovich, who dedicated a string quartet (No. 2) to Shebalin.

After graduating from Moscow Conservatory, he worked there as a professor, and in 1935 became also a head of the composition class in Gnessin Musical College. In the very difficult years of 1942-1948 he was a director of the Moscow Conservatory and the art director of the Central Musical School in Moscow. He fell victim to the Zhdanov purge of artists in 1948 and fell into obscurity afterwards. Among his students were L. Auster, Edison Denisov, Geza Frid, Tikhon Khrennikov, Karen Khachaturian, Aleksandra Pakhmutova, and others. Shebalin was one of the founders of and the chairman of the board (1941-1942) of the Moscow Union of Composers.

Shebalin was one of the most cultural and erudite composers of his generation; his serious intellectual style and a certain academic approach to composition make him close to Myaskovsky.

In 1953, Shebalin suffered a stroke which followed by another stroke in 1959 impaired most of his language capabilities. Despite that, just a few months before his death in 1963, he completed his fifth symphony, described by Dmitri Shostakovich as "a brilliant creative work, filled with highest emotions, optimistic and full of life."

Shebalin died on May 29, 1963. He was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery near his professors and colleagues.


Shebalin worked in many musical genres. He completed the opera Sorochintsy Fair by Modest Mussorgsky in 1930. Among his creations are operas, symphonies, string quartets, trios and sonatas, choral music, romances, songs, music to dramas, radio plays, and movies. One of the most interesting works of Shebalin is his opera Ukroshcheniye stroptivoy (Укрощение строптивой – The Taming of the Shrew, after William Shakespeare) (1957). He wrote another opera Solntse nad stepyu (Солнце над степьюThe Sun above the Steppe, 1958), and also the music comedy Zhenikh iz posolstva (Жених из посольстваThe Bridegroom from the Embassy, (1942).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vissarion_Shebalin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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