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Georgi Sviridov

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Biography

Georgy Vasilyevich Sviridov was born in 1915 in the town of Fatezh in the Kursk guberniya of the Russian Empire. His father, Vasily Sviridov, a sympathizer of the Bolshevik cause during the Russian Civil War that followed the Russian Revolution, was killed when Georgy was four. The family moved to Kursk, where Sviridov, still in elementary school, learned to play his first instrument, the balalaika. Learning to play by ear, he demonstrated such talent and ability that he was accepted into the local orchestra of Russian folk instruments. He enrolled in a music school in 1929, and following the advice of his teacher, M. Krutinsky, came to Leningrad in 1932, where he studied piano at the Leningrad Central Music College, graduating in 1936. From 1936 to 1941, Sviridov studied at the Leningrad Conservatory under Peter Borisovich Ryazanov and Dmitri Shostakovich. Mobilized into the Soviet armed forces in 1941, just days after his graduation from the conservatory, Sviridov was sent to a military academy in Ufa, but was discharged by the end of the year due to poor health.


In 1935 Sviridov’s composed a cycle of lyrical romances based on the poetry of Alexander Pushkin which brought him first critical acclaim. During his studies in Leningrad Conservatory, 1936 – 1941, Sviridov experimented with different genres and different types of musical composition. He completed Piano Concerto No. 1 (1936 – 1939), Symphony No.

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