was born in 1932 in Moscow. His father was a composer
and a music teacher. After having attended the Moscow Choral School
Shchedrin studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Yuri Shaporin
(composition) and Yakov Flier (piano). He graduated in 1955. His first major
works were written in his early twenties.
For over a decade he spent lot of his time and energies on heading the Union
of Composers of the Russian Federation - having succeeded its founder,
Dmitri Shostakovich at the request of Shostakovich.
member of the Communist Party, at the collapse of the Soviet regime
Shchedrin was able to participate more fully in musical life world-wide. He
now divides his time between two locations – Munich and Moscow.
virtuoso pianist, Shchedrin has often performed his own works, which include
five concertos for piano, sonatas and 24 preludes and fugues for piano. He
introduced classics of Russian literature to musical theatre. These include
opera Dead Souls (Gogol) and ballets Anna Karenina (Tolstoy), Seagull and
Lady with a Lapdog (both by Chekhov).
All the above as well as some other works
were premièred in the
Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. In 200-year history
of that theatre Rodion Shchedrin is the
only composer who had seven opera or ballet works premiered in this famous
institution, among which also the world-famous
ballet Carmen Suite.
choral works, set to texts of Russian poets, are widely performed, as are
his two symphonies and five concertos for orchestra. Numerous works by
Shchedrin are performed by word-known orchestras and famous conductors such
as: Genadij Roždestvenski, Leonard Bernstein, Jurij Temirkanov, Lorin
Maazel, Mstislav Rostropovič, Seiji Ozawa, Mariss Jansons ...
has succeeded in synthesising traditional and new forms by using every
contemporary technique of composition including aleatoric and serial
elements. His attraction to Russian folklore and folk music, Russian poetry
and literature, is strongly evident in his oeuvre, making him a
pre-eminently Russian composer with a voice that nevertheless speaks to all
1976 Shchedrin has been a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, and a
member of the Berlin Academy of Arts since 1989.
Shchedrin has received numerous prestigious awards and honours for his
highly appreciated and humane activity.