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Dmitri Kabalevsky:
About Dmitri Kabalevsky

By the time Dmitri Kabalevsky was 14, the Russian Revolution had turned his country into a communist state. In spite of the Soviet Union's control over artists of all kinds, Kabalevsky managed to make a successful career as a composer.

Music heard in this episode:
Kabalevsky: Rhapsody on School Years
Kabalevsky: Pathetique Overture
Kabalevsky: Prelude #16
Kabalevsky: Sonatina #2
Kabalevsky: Symphony #2
Kabalevsky: Violin Concerto
Kabalevsky: Cello Concerto
Kabalevsky: Piano Concerto #1
Kabalevsky: Colas Breugnon Overture
Kabalevsky: Galop from The Comedians

Other shows about Dmitri Kabalevsky:
The Comedians Suite
What's a Galop
Musical Jokes
Incidental Music

Download this month's activity sheet

About Dmitri Kabalevsky
12/30/1904 - 2/14/1987
Born in Russia

Dmitri Kabalevsky was born in St. Petersburg, which was then the capital of Russia. He started playing the piano by ear when he was six. In 1918, after the Russian Revolution, the family moved to Moscow, where Dmitri finally started studying music -- including composition.

Kabalevsky lived in a difficult time and place for a composer. In the Soviet Union, the government told artists -- painters, writers, composers, you name it -- exactly what they were expected to create, and how it should look or sound. Kabalevsky managed to make the authorities happy as he continued to compose.

Kabalevsky wrote a lot of piano music, including pieces for children. He really enjoyed writing for children. Other Kabalevsky compositions include songs for children's chorus, and a set of songs for solo voice based on some wonderful Russian translations of Mother Goose rhymes. Of course, Kabalevsky also wrote plenty of adult pieces, including symphonies, concertos, and music for the theater.

See other composers born in Russia


This Week's Quiz:

1. What country did Kabalevsky come from?





2.Kabalevsky liked to work with children and write music for them.



3. At what school did Kabalevsky study and teach?

The Juilliard School

Paris Conservatory

St. Petersburg Conservatory

Moscow Conservatory


Dmitri Kabalevsky
"Galop" from The Comedians

Composed in 1940
Performed by Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
Kenneth Jean, conductor

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