VALERIAN BOGDANOV-BEREZOVSKY (1903 - 1971)
A critic and composer, Valerian Mikhaylovich Bogdanov-Berezovsky in 1919 entered the Petrograd Conservatory, where he was influenced by a circle of young fellow-composers that included his friend Shostakovich. At this time he also established himself as one of the city’s leading music critics. After graduating in 1927 he was a propagandist for contemporary music, both Western and Soviet, working closely with Asaf’yev and others. In 1940 he published his Opernoye i baletnoye tvorchestvo Chaykovskogo and Sovetskaya opera (both Leningrad and Moscow) and was appointed principal teacher of the history of Soviet music at the Leningrad Conservatory. Outstanding compositions of this period include the opera Granitsa (The Frontier). Bogdanov-Berezovsky remained in Leningrad during World War II; he devoted himself to administrative and mass-cultural work, and wrote the opera Leningradtsï (The Leningraders) during the blockade. After the war he collaborated in the Leningrad Institute for Scholarship and Research in the Theatre and Music (from 1946); in 1947 he obtained the degree of kandidat of arts. He directed the repertory division of the Leningrad Malïy Theatre, 1951–61, and the music-theatre section of the Leningrad branch of the Composers’ Union, later heading its musicology and criticism section. During this time his book Teatr operï i baleta im. Kirova(Leningrad, 1959) was published. In the 1960s he adopted a new, more dramatic style in his compositions, but he did not follow the new trends of that decade.