Avshalomov, Aaron

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AVSHALOMOV, AARON (1894–1965), composer, father of Jacob *Avshalomov. Born in Siberia, Avshalomov was almost an autodidact in composition (except for one term of study at the Zurich Conservatoire). In around 1917 he settled in China, remaining there for 30 years and working as librarian of the Municipal Library of Shanghai (1928–43) and conductor of the Shanghai Symphonic Orchestra (1943–46). In 1947 he immigrated to the United States. In his compositions he strove to create an Oriental atmosphere by incorporating Chinese motifs and rhythms into European music. Among his works are three operas, Kuan Yin (Beijing, 1925), The Twilight Hour of Yan Kuei Fei (1933), and The Great Wall (Shanghai, 1945, later produced in Nanjing, under the sponsorship of Mmes. Sun Yat Sen and Chiang Kaishek); a ballet, The Soul of the Ch'in (1933); a symphonic poem, Peiping Hutungs (1933); three symphonies (conducted by Leopold Stokowski, Pierre Monteux, and Artur Rodzinski); and concertos for piano, violin, and flute.

add. bibliography:

American Composers Alliance Bulletin, x/2 (1962), 18–19.

[Marina Rizarev (2nd ed.)]