Tcherepnin, Nikolai (Nikolaievich)

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Tcherepnin, Nikolai (Nikolaievich)

Tcherepnin, Nikolai (Nikolaievich), noted Russian conductor, pedagogue, and composer, father of Alexander (Nikolaievich) Tcherepnin; b. St. Petersburg, May 15, 1873; d. Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, June 26, 1945. He was a student of Rimsky-Korsakov at the St. Petersburg Cons. (1895-98), and in 1905 he was appointed to its faculty, teaching orchestration and conducting; Prokofiev was among his students. In 1908 he became a conductor at the Marinsky Theater and the Imperial Opera in St. Petersburg; was conductor of the initial season of the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1909. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, he served as director of the Tiflis Cons. (1918-21); then settled in Paris, where he was director of the Russian Cons. (1925-29; 1938-5). His music embodies the best elements of the Russian national school; it is melodious and harmonious; lyrical and gently dynamic; in some of his works, there is a coloristic quality suggesting French impressionistic influence.


dramatic: Opera Svat (1930); Vanka (1932; Belgrade, 1935). B a 1 1 e t : Le pavillon d’Armide (St. Petersburg, Nov. 25, 1907); Narcisse et Echo (Monte Carlo, April 26, 1911); Le Masque de la Mort Rouge (Petrograd, Jan. 29, 1916); Dionysus (1922); Russian Fairy Tale (1923); Romance of the Mummy (1924). ORCH.: Prelude to Rostand’s play La Princesse lointaine (1897); Fantaisie dramatique (1903); Le Royaume enchanté, symphonie tableau (1904); Piano Concerto (1907). CHAMBER: Poème lyrique; Cadence fantastique; Un Air ancien for Flute and Piano; Pièce calme for Oboe and Piano; Pièce insouciante for Clarinet and Piano; Variations simples for Bassoon and Piano; Fanfare for Trumpet and Piano; String Quartet; Quartet for Horns; Divertissement for Flute, Oboe, and Bassoon. Piano: 14 esquisses sur les images d’un alphabet russe (orch. version of 8, Boston, Nov. 27, 1931); Primitifs; Pièces de bonne humeur; Pièces sentimentals. VOCAL: Liturgical music of the Russian Orthodox rite, including masses a cappella; Pilgrimage and Passions of the Virgin Mary (Paris, Feb. 12, 1938); over 200 songs; realization and completion of Mussorgsky’s opera The Fair at Sorochinsk (Monte Carlo, March 17, 1923).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire