Russian composer Tikhon Khrennikov died in Moscow on August 14, 2007, at the age of 94. Born in the provinces, he came to the capital to pursue a career in music, studying composition at the Moscow Conservatory with Dmitri Shostakovich's friend, Vissarion Shebalin, and piano with the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus. In the 1930s, he established a considerable reputation with works like his First Piano Concerto (1933), First Symphony (1935), and his perennially popular incidental music for a production of Much Ado About Nothing (1936). His opera, Into the Storm (1939), became a prototype for the development of Soviet "song-opera." Khrennikov was unexpectedly tapped in 1948 by Stalin to oversee musical life in the Soviet Union at the helm of the Composers' Union — he remained in that position for more than 40 years until the collapse of the country. As the head of the Composers' Union, Khrennikov is seen by some to have played a part both in the persecution of Shostakovich and Sergei Prokofiev that took place in Stalin's last years, and later for hampering the careers of young composers who manifested non-conformist tendencies — Alfred Schnittke and Sofia Gubaidulina being among them. However, his memory is cherished by others who benefited from his steadfast concern for the health and welfare of thousands of constituents and their families.His music tends to be overlooked. Without doubt, Khrennikov was a genuine composer. He strove for tuneful accessibility in his symphonies, concerti, musical theater works, and film scores. Had he been an American composer with more options, he might well have flourished in Hollywood or on Broadway. Setting aside political accounting, many Russian listeners continue to appreciate his music on its own terms.