Kabalevsky was born in Saint Petersburg on 30th December 1904. His father was a mathematician, and encouraged him to study mathematics; however, in early life he maintained a fascination with the arts, and became an accomplished young pianist, also dabbling in poetry and painting. In 1925, against his father’s wishes, he accepted a place at the Moscow Conservatory under Nikolai Myaskovsky, and became a professor in 1932. During World War II he wrote many patriotic songs, having joined the Communist Party in 1940. He also composed and performed many pieces for silent films, and some theatre music.
Kabalevsky was not as adventurous as his contemporaries in terms of harmony, and preferred a more conventional diatonicism, interlaced with chromaticism and major-minor interplay. Unlike fellow composer Sergei Prokofiev, in later years he embraced the ideas of socialist realism, and his post-war works reflect this. Indeed, he was awarded a number of state honours for his musical works (including at least two Stalin Prizes). Kabalevsky died in Moscow on 18th February 1987.
Edited by Grosseteste on 12 Nov 2011, 13:48
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