Skip to main content

Pakhmutova, Alexandra (1929—)

Pakhmutova, Alexandra (1929—)

Russian composer whose work was enormously popular. Name variations: Alexandra Nikolaievna Pakhmutova. Born in Beketovka, near Stalingrad, USSR (now Volgograd, Russia), on November 9, 1929; studied at the Moscow Conservatory, graduating in 1953; continued to do post-graduate work at the Moscow Conservatory, concentrating on composition studies with Vladimir Shebalin.

Named "Artist of the USSR" (1977).

In the post-Stalinist Soviet Union, there were periods when optimists felt that, with luck and effort, the system could be made to work, and that in time it would evolve into an essentially humane society free of oppression. This spirit was sometimes reflected, if only imperfectly, in music. One of the most optimistic composers of the late Soviet period was Alexandra Pakhmutova. Born into modest circumstances in 1929, just as the Stalinist regime was tightening its grip on Soviet life, she survived the privations of World War II, graduating from the Moscow Conservatory in 1953, the year of dictator Joseph Stalin's death. Pakhmutova discovered her artistic metier in 1955, when her bouncy Trumpet Concerto was given its premiere in Moscow on June 11 of that year. This work became immensely popular in the USSR and a recording of it was even available in the West. Equally favored throughout the 1960s and 1970s were Pakhmutova's urban ballads, songs meant to mirror Soviet reality by alluding to pressing problems but within an essentially positive framework. Using simple texts, these songs praised Soviet achievements in space, reminded Soviet citizens of their duty to believe in a better future, or simply reminded listeners, as she did in a 1974 song, there was always "Hope." The composer's more orthodox side could be seen in her 1957 suite for narrator, children's chorus and orchestra, Lenin is in Our Hearts. Pakhmutova never claimed to be a profound artist; her compositions were simple, optimistic and joyful, and while her music may not have accurately reflected Soviet life, it echoed the hopes of those who believed that their society was still capable of being reformed by people of good will.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pakhmutova, Alexandra (1929—)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pakhmutova, Alexandra (1929—)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 13, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pakhmutova-alexandra-1929

"Pakhmutova, Alexandra (1929—)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pakhmutova-alexandra-1929

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.