Popov, Gavriil , outstanding and original Russian composer; b. Novocherkassk, Sept. 12, 1904; d. Repino, near Leningrad, Feb. 17, 1972. He studied at the St. Petersburg Cons. with Nikolayev (piano) and Shcherbachev (composition). From his student days, he adopted the procedures of modern music; his Septet, also known as Chamber Sym. for 7 Instruments (1926; Moscow, Dec. 13, 1927), was written in a system of dissonant counterpoint then fashionable in Western Europe; his Ist Sym. (1927–32; rev. 1934; Leningrad, March 22, 1935) was in a similar vein. When modern music became the target of attack in Russia, Popov modified his style toward a more popular conception, following the tenets of socialist realism. Among his other works were 6 syms., including No. 2, Fatherland (Moscow, Feb. 15, 1944), No. 3 for Strings, on Spanish themes (Moscow, Jan. 31, 1947), No. 4, Glory Be to the Fatherland (1949), No. 5, Pastorale (1965), and No. 6 (Moscow, Jan. 23, 1970); Octet (1927); Violin Concerto (1937); Divertimento for Orch. (1938); Hispania, 7 fragments for Orch. (1940); Organ Concerto (1970). A 7th sym. remained unfinished at his death.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire