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Тихон Николаевич Хренников

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Biography

Tikhon Nikolayevich Khrennikov (Russian: Тихон Никола́евич Хренников; 10 June [O.S. May 28] 1913 – 14 August 2007) was a and composer, pianist, leader of the Union of Soviet Composers, who was also known for his political activities. He wrote three symphonies, four piano concertos, two violin concertos, two cello concertos, operas, operettas, ballets, chamber music, incidental music and film music.

Tikhon Khrennikov was the youngest of ten children, born into a family of horse traders in the town of Yelets, Oryol Governorate, Russian Empire (now in Lipetsk Oblast in central Russia).

He learned guitar and mandolin from members of his family and sang in a local choir in Yelets. There he also played in a local orchestra and learned the piano. As a teenager he moved to Moscow. From 1929 to 1932, he studied composition at the Gnessin State Musical College under Mikhail Gnessin and Yefraim Gelman. From 1932 to 1936, he attended the Moscow Conservatory. There he studied composition under Vissarion Shebalin and piano under Heinrich Neuhaus. As a student, he wrote and played his Piano Concerto No. 1, and his graduation piece was the Symphony No. 1. His first symphony was conducted by Leopold Stokowski. He became popular with the series of songs and serenades that he composed for the 1936 production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow.

During the 1930s, Khrennikov was already being hailed as a leading official Soviet composer.

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