Grigori Frid

1915 - 2012



Grigori Frid was born in Petrograd, now St. Petersburg. He studied in the Moscow Conservatory with Heinrich Litinsky and Vissarion Shebalin. He served as a soldier in World War II. His early music was written in the tradition of "Socialist Realism." At age 55 he changed his composition style radically, turning to twelve-tone and other more contemporary techniques.

His most notable works are two chamber operas. The Diary of Anne Frank, a monodrama in 21 scenes for soprano and chamber orchestra, lasts about one hour. It was composed in 1968 and premiered with piano accompaniment at the All-Union House of Composers in Moscow in May 1972. The Letters of Van Gogh is in two parts for baritone and chamber ensemble, based on the letters of Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo. The opera was composed in 1975 and given its premiere in concert form in Moscow during November 1976.

He wrote three symphonies (1939, 1955, 1964), a series of concertos including one for viola, piano, and string orchestra (1981), incidental music for Jean Racine's Phèdre (1985) and other plays and films, as well as vocal and chamber music.

Frid organized a series of popular lectures-concerts for young people at the Moscow House of Composers. He was also a visual artist, with a series of exhibitions of his paintings. Frid authored a few volumes of recollections, two of which were published in 1987 and 1991.



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