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RODION SHCHEDRIN – KING OF THE MODERN ORCHESTRA

Great music should be accessible to a large audience – under this motto, the great composer of the second half of the 20th century and the present, Rodion Shchedrin, creates. None of his contemporaries have been able to develop the themes of their native country so widely in their work. Almost all of his ballets and operas are written on the stories of prominent writers – Chekhov, Gogol, Nabokov, Tolstoy, Leskov, and professional musicians call Shchedrin the king of a modern orchestra.

Since childhood, next to the great
The creative fate of the composer has developed under the influence of the family. His father – Konstantin Shchedrin – had absolute pitch and unique ability to remember kmpositor Rodion Shchedrinmuzyku after the first listening. Once this talent was noticed by the famous actress Vera Pashennaya who came to his native Tula region. She paid for the guy’s move to Moscow, where he entered the conservatory. Thus began the creative dynasty of the Shchedrins.

Rodion Shchedrin was born on December 16, 1932 and has been surrounded by music since infancy. He enthusiastically listened to his father play the violin. In 1941, the boy was sent to a music school at the Moscow Conservatory, but then a war broke out and many schools simply closed. At the end of the year, the family evacuated to Kuibyshev (now Samara), where he happened to meet the great Dmitry Shostakovich. Young Rodion was lucky to attend the dress rehearsal of the famous Seventh Symphony of the composer. And all thanks to the fact that Shchedrin’s father worked as executive secretary in the evacuated Union of Composers under the leadership of Dmitry Shostakovich. By the way, he often helped the Shchedrin to solve the arising everyday difficulties.

First steps in composition
At the first opportunity, the Shchedrins returned to Moscow and again sent their son to a music school. And when the choir school of boys opened in the capital, its first director, the famous choirmaster Alexander Sveshnikov invited Konstantin Shchedrin to teach history and theory of music. He, in turn, asked the composer Rodion Shchedrin to accept Rodion at the school. The young man had excellent hearing and a wonderful voice, so there were no problems with admission.

Students were not taught music, but the high level of preparation allowed them to try their hand at musical composition. Alexander Sveshnikov encouraged his students and allowed him to immediately perform his compositions. The students had the opportunity to meet with the most prominent musicians of that time – Richter, Kozlovsky, Shostakovich, Gilels, Flier and Ginzburg.

Piano teachers deliberately asked to learn works of high complexity. Thanks to this, after graduation, Rodion had a program that was worthy of a real concert pianist.

Rich student experience
In 1950, Rodion Shchedrin entered simultaneously two faculties of the Moscow Conservatory. Professor Jacob Flier studied the piano with him, and the professor and composer class was led by Professor Yuri Shaporin. composer In 1950 Rodin Shchedrin entered two faculties of the Moscow Conservatory at the same time. In the classroom, the novice musician mastered the high art of the pianist and substantially expanded his musical knowledge. Rodion trusted Jacob Flier so much that he always made him the first listener of composed works not only in his student years, but also later.

Shchedrin intensively developed at the conservatory his incredible interest in folklore. On his career, he managed to use folk musical elements in an amazingly original way, organically intertwining them with his own composer’s finds. Critics have repeatedly noted that in this synthesis he has no equal.

Rodion Shchedrin took place as a composer in his student days after creating his first concert for the composer Rodion Shchedrinpiano. The conservatory considered this work too “formalistic”, but the student was lucky – one of the professors advised the Union of Composers to include this concert in the program of the next party plenum. Rodion brilliantly performed his composition, and soon received a letter informing him that he, a fourth-year student at the conservatory, was accepted into the Union of Composers. This happened even without submitting an application.

Composer and ballerina
The year 1958 was the most romantic and truly fateful in the life of Rodion Shchedrin. He created a family with a ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. They first met the composer Rodion Shchedrinza several years before, when the star of the French cinema Gerard Philippe came to Moscow. Then he visited the house of Lily Brik and met with creative intelligentsia, among which was Maya and Rodion. Finally, Shchedrin and Plisetskaya brought the ballet The Little Humpbacked Horse to the ballet. In 1958, the Bolshoi Theater decided to stage it. There Rodion was able to see Maya at a rehearsal. Plisetskaya was already quite a famous person, so she was under the supervision of the KGB. State security officers constantly monitored Shchedrin’s lover, but no agents could tear them apart anymore. Unfortunately, there were no children in their family. Such was the great sacrifice to the art of a brilliant ballerina.

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