Alexander Tcherepnin

Alexander Tcherepnin

The Saga of a Russian Emigré Composer
Ludmila Korabelnikova, edited by Sue Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin and Ludmila Korabelnikova, translated by Anna Winestein
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/15/2007
Format: Hardback 10 b&w illus., 76 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-34938-5
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Ludmila Korabelnikova recounts the life and times of Alexander Tcherepnin, a prolific and often emulated composer who produced four operas, 13 ballets, four symphonies, numerous orchestral and chamber works, and more than 200 piano pieces. He was born in Russia in 1899 to a family of musicians and artists. However, Aaron Copland referred to him as "an honorary American composer" and Toru Takemitsu called him "a father figure of Japanese music." Korabelnikova focuses not only on the biographical elements of Tcherepnin's story, but also on his music and its technical innovations. She includes extended quotations by the composer himself and selective analytical commentary, based on primary sources and contemporaneous accounts.

Author Bio

Ludmila Korabelnikova graduated from the Moscow Conservatory with degrees in theory and musicology and has served as Director of Research at the Tchaikovsky Archive in Klin. Currently, she is Distinguished Musicologist and Lead Scientific Researcher in the Music History Department of the Russian State Institute for Art Research.

Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin has served as Adjunct Instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1991 and performs around the world as a professional flutist.

Anna Winestein is a Ph.D. candidate in modern history at Oxford University and a former Fulbright Fellow.


“The book is unquestionably an important contribution to the field, being the first substantial scholarly study of Tcherepnin's life and works.”
 — Malcolm Hamrick Brown, Professor Emeritus, Indiana University

“A prolific and often emulated composer who produced four operas, thirteen ballets, four symphonies, numerous orchestral and chamber works and over 200 piano pieces, author Ludmilla Korabelnikova recounts the life and times of composer, Alexander Tcherepnin. ”

“. . . Extensive extracts from Tcherepnin's articles, diaries, and letters offer detailed accounts of his compositional process. Among the attributes of this volume are the appendixes, which include, in addition to the one mentioned above, the composer's 'Basic Elements of My Musical Language,' e.g., 'rhythm liberated from pitch,' the nine—step scale, and bird calls used as musical material (appendix 2), and a chronological catalog of Tcherepnin's more than 100 compositions plus a discography of an even greater number of CD and LP recordings (appendix 3). . . . Recommended.”
 — Choice

“. . . first monograph-length study of the composer Alexander Tcherepnin, whose career, by force of history and personal circumstance, uniquely stretched from Russia to the Caucasus to Europe to Asia to America.Vol. 68.1 Jan. 2009”
 — Anna Nisnevich, University of Pittsburgh

“Korabelnikova's volume is an important contribution to the relatively sparse literature on Tcherepnin currently available in English. It shows Tcherepnin not only as a composer, but also as a critic, family man, and pedagogue. . . One hopes that the book will revive public interest in Tcherepnin the man and his music.Vol. 53.3 Fall 2009”
 — Tony H. Lin, University of California, Berkeley

“Korabelnikova's Saga of a Russian Emigré Composer succeeds in its goal of becoming an important first step toward assessing and coming to terms with the creative legacy of Alexander Tcherepnin. 65.2 Dec. 2008”
 — Notes

“It is . . . a pleasure to be able to welcome the appearance of Ludmila Korabelnikova's account of the life of Aleksandr Cherepnin, which adds significantly to our knowledge both of the composer himself and of the fate of Russian music beyond the borders of the Soviet Union.July 2009”
 — Slavonic & East European Review

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
1. Introduction
2. In the Hills of Georgia
3. Air and Bread of Emigration
4. European Destiny: the Paris School
5. The Four Corners of the Globe
6. In the Composer's Workshop
7. The Russian Composer
8. Finale
Appendix I
Introduction-Tcherepnin About Himself
Alexander Tcherepnin, A Short Autobiography
Appendix II
Introduction- Alexander Tcherepnin About His Compositional Technique
Alexander Tcherepnin, Basic Elements of my Musical Language
Appendix III
Introduction-The Musical Heritage of Alexander Tcherepnin
The Music of Alexander Tcherepnin: A Chronological Catalogue

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