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Ustvolskaya, Galina (1919–)

Ustvolskaya, Galina (1919–)

Russian composer. Name variations: Galina Ivanovna Ustvolskaya. Born June 17, 1919, in St. Petersburg, Russia; attended Leningrad Arts School, 1937–39), and Leningrad Conservatory, 1939–47; m. Konstantin Makukhin (1966).

Reclusive composer, taught composition classes at Leningrad Conservatory and Rimsky-Korsakov Music School (1948–77); pressured by Soviet state, composed music in Socialist Realist genre, including cantatas, Stepan Razin's Dream (1948), Hail, Youth! (1950), Dawn Over the Homeland (1952) and Man from the High Mountains (1952), and symphonic poems, Young Pioneers (1950), Children's Suite (1955), The Hero's Exploit (1957), Sports (1958) and Fire on the Steppes (1958); purged Socialist Realist works from opus list, preferring to recognize only "pure" spiritual music, which numbers 21 works, including Song of Praise for boys' choir, trumpets, percussion, and piano (1964), Duet for violin and piano (1968), Dona nobis pacem for piccolo, tuba, and piano (1975), Benedictus, Qui venit for 4 flutes, 4 bassoons, and piano (1977); probably best known for symphonic cycle begun in 1955 and continued with Symphonies Two: True and Eternal Bliss for orchestra and solo voice (1979), Three: Jesus Messiah, Save Us! for orchestra and soloist (1983), Four: Prayer (1985–87) and Five: Amen (1989–90); had "true" music performed for 1st time outside of Russia at Wiener Festwochen (1986), and later at festival in Heidelberg, Germany (1988) and achieved breakthrough in west with concerts at Holland Festival in Amsterdam (1989) and Festival of Huddersfield (1992).

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