Mravinsky, Evgeni (Alexandrovich)

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Mravinsky, Evgeni (Alexandrovich)

Mravinsky, Evgeni (Alexandrovich), eminent Russian conductor; b. St. Petersburg, June 4, 1903; d. there (Leningrad), Jan. 19,1988. He studied biology at the Univ. of St. Petersburg, then joined the Imperial Ballet as a pantomimist and rehearsal pianist. In 1924 he enrolled in the Leningrad Cons., where he studied conducting with Gauk and Malko, graduating in 1931; also had courses in composition with Shcherbachev. He then was conductor of the Leningrad Theater of Opera and Ballet (1932–38). In 1938 he was appointed principal conductor of the Leningrad Phil., which position he held with imperious authority for 50 years. Mravinsky represented the best of the Soviet school of conducting, in which technical precision and fidelity to the music were combined with individual and even Romantic interpretations. He was especially noted for his fine performances of Tchaikovsky’s operas, ballets, and syms., and also gave first performances of several syms. of Prokofiev and Shostakovich and conducted works by Bartok and Stravinsky. In 1973 he was awarded the order of Hero of Socialist Labor.


V. Bogdanov-Berezovsky, The Soviet Conductor M.(Leningrad, 1956); V. Fomin, M. Conducts(Leningrad, 1976).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire