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Glière, Reinhold Moritzevich


GLIÈRE, REINHOLD MORITZEVICH (1874–1956), Soviet Russian composer and conductor. He was born in Kiev where his father, following a family tradition, was a maker of musical instruments. Glière began composing at 14, entered the Kiev Music School in 1891 and the Moscow Conservatory in 1894. He taught for some time in St. Petersburg, spent two years (1905–07) in Berlin, and became director of the Kiev Conservatory in 1914. In 1920 he went to the Moscow Conservatory as professor and held this post until his death. Glière was a prolific composer. He studied the folk music of various national groups and used folklore elements in his compositions. His symphonic works reflect Russian traditional harmony. Prokofieff, Miaskovsky, and Mossolov were among his pupils. A tireless conductor, Glière appeared in remote regions of the country. From 1938 to 1948 he was chairman of the Union of Soviet Composers. His major works are: three symphonies (1900, 1907, and 1911), several operas, among them Shah-Senem (1923–34) on an Azerbaijan subject, and Rachel (1943) after Maupassant's novel. His ballets include: Cleopatra (1925), Red Poppy (1927), The Bronze Horseman (1949), and Taras Bulba (1952). His concerto for harp and orchestra (1938) and especially the concerto for voice and orchestra (1942) won great popularity. He composed chamber music, songs, and piano works. Glière received many awards, including the Order of Lenin and the Stalin Prize.


I.F. Belza, R.M. Glière (Russ., 1962); N.E. Petrova, Reyngold Moritsevich Gliere (1962); s.v. Katanova, Balety R.M. Gliera (1960); R.M. Glière, Statyi, vospominaniya, materialy (1965); mgg, s.v.; Rieman-Gurlitt, s.v.; Grove, Dict, s.v.

[Michael Goldstein]

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