“The Collective of Professional Composers” as the “Primary Cell” of the Union of Soviet Composers of the USSR

Original article   .

Author: Ekaterina S. Vlasova

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow, Russia, vlasovaes@yandex.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5600-9870


The article presents the activities of the “Collective of Professional Composers” (1918–1923), which is considered to be the direct predecessor of the Union of Soviet Composers of the USSR. It is proved that creation of the composers' union was not initially due to the desire of state institutions to manage the creative intelligentsia within a single organization. This is explained mainly by practical implementation of the initiative of the composers themselves, who stood for a professional association, taking into account Soviet realities and agreeing to the compromise with the ideological requirements of state institutions in exchange for their organizational and financial support. The Charters and Declarations of different Composers ' Organizations of the period 1915–1918 are published. The article provides information about formation of concert, educational, publishing and library activities, formation of the copyright system in the interests of the composer community, which laid the foundation for the functioning of the future Union of Soviet Composers of the USSR. A new interpretation of traditional terms and well-known facts from the musical life of Soviet Russia of the nineteen-twenties is proposed. The work of the “Collective of Professional Composers” is considered in close connection with the activities of the Association of Contemporary Music, which has inherited many trends that developed in the work of the “Collective”. It is emphasized that the main difference between the “Collective” and the future Union of Soviet Composers of the USSR is represented in  the following factors: professional competence of its members, tolerance for individual creative search, focus on creative and material problem solving. It is proved that the initiators and practical performers of this historical initiative for the composer community were the generation of 1870–1880, Nikolay Ya. Myaskovsky playing a special role in the exceptional undertaking for the development of Russian musical culture.

Keywords: The Union of Soviet Composers, the Collective of professional composers, Nikolay Myaskovsky

For citation: Vlasova E. S. “Collective of Professional Composers” as the “Primary Cell” of the Union of Soviet Composers of the USSR. Оpera musicologica. 2022. Т. 14. № 2. С. 132–158. https://doi.org/10.26156/OM.2022.14.2.006.

The article was submitted 12.11.2021; approved after reviewing 07.12.2021; accepted for publication 15.03.2022.


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