Death of a rebel Soviet composer, 88

Death of a rebel Soviet composer, 88


norman lebrecht

February 10, 2020

The ingenious Sergei Slonimsky died yesterday in St Petersburg.

Nephew of the US music writer Nicolai Slonimsky, he daringly produced some 12-note scores in the 1960s and earned an early reputation as a bit of a rebel. But the system soon cracked down on him and he did penance with a lot of folk-based scores. At the Conservatoire, he was confined to teaching students from Third World countries, which he much enjoyed.

Slonimsky leaves 8 operas, 34 symphonies and a warehouse full of chamber music.

His opera Maria Stuart was performed at the Edinburgh festival by the Mikhailovsky theatre.

Funeral on February 13.


  • Saul Davis says:

    He wrote some wonderful harp music, which is not too common for most composers.

  • Larry W says:

    Looks like he left a lexicon of musical invention.

  • Jacob Dimant says:

    Can you specify the name of the beutiful piano piece?
    Shazam identified it as March of the dreadful villain Barmaley.Played by Elena Filonova.
    Any comments about the piece?