Vasilenko, Sergei (Nikif orovich), noted Russian conductor, pedagogue, and composer; b. Moscow, March 30, 1872; d. there, March 11, 1956. He studied jurisprudence at the Univ. of Moscow, graduating in 1895, and also took private music lessons with Gretchaninoff and G. Conus. In 1895 he entered the Moscow Cons, in the classes of Taneyev, Ippolitov-Ivanov, and Safonov, graduating in 1901. He also studied ancient Russian chants under the direction of Smo-lensky. In 1906 he joined the faculty of the Moscow Cons.; subsequently was prof, there (1907-41; 1943-56). From 1907 to 1917 he conducted in Moscow a series of popular sym. concerts in programs of music arranged in a historical sequence. In 1938 he went to Tashkent to help native musicians develop a national school of composition. His music is inspired primarily by the pattern of Russian folk song, but he was also attracted by exotic subjects, particularly those of the East; in his harmonic settings, there is a distinct influence of French Impressionism.
dramatic: Opera: Skazaniye o grade ve-likom Kitezhe i tikhom ozere Svetoyare (The Legend of the Great City of Kitezh and the Calm Lake Svetoyar), dramatic cantata (Moscow, March 1, 1902; operatic version, Moscow, March 3, 1903); Sin solntsa (Son of the Sun; Moscow, May 23, 1929); Khristofor Kolumb (Christopher Columbus; 1933); Buran (The Snowstorm; 1938; Tashkent, June 12,1939; in collaboration with M. Ashrafi); Suvorov (1941; Moscow, Feb. 23, 1942). Ballet: Noyya,ballet-pantomime (1923); Iosif prekrasniy (Joseph the Handsome; Moscow, March 3, 1925); V solnechnikh luchakh (In the Rays of the Sun; 1926); Lola (1926; rev. version, Moscow, June 25, 1943); Treugolka (The Tricorn; 1935); Tsigani (The Gypsies; 1936; Leningrad, Nov. 18, 1937); Akbilyak (1942; Tashkent, Nov. 7, 1943); Mirandolina (1946; Moscow, Jan. 16, 1949). ORCH.: 3 Combats,symphonic poem (1900); Poème épique,symphonic poem (Moscow, March 14, 1903); 5 syms.: No. 1 (1904; Moscow, Feb. 17,1907), No. 2 (Moscow, Jan. 7,1913), No. 3, Italian,for Wind Instruments and Russian Folk Instruments (1925), No. 4, Arctic (Moscow, April 5, 1933), and No. 5 (1938); Sad smerti (The Garden of Death; Moscow, May 4, 1908); Hircus nocturnus (Moscow, Feb. 3,1909); Violin Concerto (1910-13); Au Soleil,suite (Moscow, 1911); Valse fantastique (Moscow, Jan. 16, 1915); Zodiac,suite on old French melodies (1914); Chinese Suite (Leningrad, Oct. 30,1927); Hindu Suite (Moscow, 1927); Turkme-nian Suite (Moscow, 1931); Balalaika Concerto (1931); Soviet East (1932); Uzbek Suite (1942); Cello Concerto (1944); Ukraine (1945); Trumpet Concerto (1945). CHAMBER: 3 string quartets; Piano Trio; Viola Sonata; Serenadefor Cello and Piano; Oriental Dance for Clarinet and Piano (1923); Japanese Suitefor Wind Instruments, Xylophone, and Piano (1938); Chinese Sketchesfor Woodwind Instruments (1938); Woodwind Quartet on American themes (1938); Suite for Balalaika and Accordion (1945). VOCAL: Virfor Bass and Orch. (Kislovodsk, July 6, 1896); A Maiden Sang in a Church Choir,song (1908); Incantationfor Voice and Orch. (1910); Exotic Suitefor Tenor and 12 Instruments (1916); 10 Russian Folk Songsfor Voice, Oboe, Balalaika, Accordion, and Piano (1929).
Stranitsi vospominaniy (Pages of Reminiscences; Moscow and Leningrad, 1948); Instrumentovka dlya simfonicheskovo orkestra (Vol. I, Moscow, 1952; ed. with a supplement by Y. Fortunatov, Moscow, 1959); T. Livanova, ed., Vospominaniy a (Memoirs; Moscow, 1979).
V. Belaiev, S.N. V (Moscow, 1927); G Polianovsky, S.N. V.(Moscow, 1947); idem, S.N. V: Zhizn i tvorchestvo (S.N.V.: Life and Work; Moscow, 1964).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire