Yudina, Maria (1899–1970)

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Yudina, Maria (1899–1970)

Soviet pianist. Born Maria Veniaminovna Yudina in Nevel, Russia, on September 10, 1899; died in Moscow on November 20, 1970.

Maria Yudina was born in Nevel, Russia, in 1899 and studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Annette Essipova and others. She made her concert debut in 1921, when Russia was in the midst of a civil war and severe famine. From 1921 through 1931, Yudina taught at the Petrograd (later Leningrad) Conservatory. She moved to Moscow, where she was a professor at the Moscow Conservatory from 1936 through 1951. Here she taught both piano and singing, being a highly regarded expert on problems of vocal performance and production. In 1939, she produced a performance of Taneyev's Orestes at the Moscow Conservatory, repeating this work in 1946 with the Soviet Opera Ensemble. Her style of pianism was highly individualistic and reflected the serious reflection she gave to the works of all the great composers. Her virtuoso performances were passionate in the extreme, yet never seemed out of control. In her later years, Yudina championed the works of composers whose style was not always approved by the Soviet musical establishment, these being compositions by Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Hindemith.


Dubal, David. The Art of the Piano. NY: Summit, 1989.

Slonimsky, Nicolas, ed. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. 8th ed. NY: Schirmer, 1992.

Yampol'sky, I.M. "Yudina, Mariya (Veniaminovna)," in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Vol. 20, pp. 584–585.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia