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Alexander Tchugayev (1924-1990); RUS

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Alexander Tchugayev

Alexander Tchugayev, a prominent Russian composer and musicologist, was born in 1924 in Jeisk in Southern Russia, near the Azov coast. In 1933, he moved to Moscow and began his serious music studies at the Gnessin Music College - where he worked under the well-known pedagogues Y-F.Savvina-Gnessina and Y-F.Gnessina. Around the same time he began private studies in composition under Y-O.Messner and, later, V-Y.Shebalin. In 1940, he entered Professor Shebalin's class at the Moscow Conservatory, but studies these were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. In 1944, he resumed his studies in music at the conservatory, and quickly transferred to the class of Dimitri Shostakovich, and later to that of Professor J.Shaporin.

1n 1952, Tchugayev became a member of the Russian Composers' Union, and began teaching music theory and composition at the Gnessin Pedagogical Institute of Music (later called the Gnessin Music Academy), where he worked for the next 27 years. From 1979 until his death in 1990, he taught polyphony and composition at the Moscow Conservatory.

Tchugayev left a considerable heritage both as a composer and a musicologist. He wrote numerous works for orchestra (e.g. the Concert Ouverture, the symphonic poem 1905, a Violin Concerto, and the ballet The Black-Faced), as well as chamber, and piano works - several of which are featured here at the Classical Archives. He likewise wrote the soundtracks to several feature and science-related films. His works have been performed by such famous musicians as conductors N.Rachlin and A.Vedernikov, violinists N.Shkolnikova, L.Botchkova, V.Lanzman, and V.Pikaizen, and the Borodin Quartet - which includes his Second String Quartet in its repertoire. His musicological works are primarily connected with the subject of polyphony, such as on Bach's keyboard fugues.

As Igor Golubev, a former student of Tchugayev and a featured composer here at the Classical Archives, wrote: "Tchugayev as a composer was never a blind follower of any trend, or a slave of any technical innovation come into fashion. There is no purely dodecaphonic, serial, sonoristic, or minimalistic opus among his works. But, being a well-equipped composer and possessing marvelous creative fantasy and freedom, he could use some devices of modern musical language when he needed them, easily and naturally. His intonation and harmony are always original and fresh; his music's imagery takes in nobleness, deep lyricism, sometimes tragedy, grotesque, but never aggressiveness..." We are delighted to feature the music of this giant of contemporary Russian music here at the Classical Archives.

Alexander Tchugayev

Alexander Alexander Tchugayev, a prominent Russian composer and musicologist, was born in 1924 in Jeisk in Southern Russia, near the Azov... More
Below are works by A.Tchugayev that every music lover should explore:
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