Reinhold Glière

From Wind Repertory Project
Reinhold Glière


Reinhold Moritzovich Glière (11 January 1875, Kiev -- 23 June 1956, Moscow) was one of the most influential Russian composers during the transition from Czarist to Soviet Russia.

Glière was the son of a musician and maker of wind instruments. He attended the Moscow Conservatory—where he studied violin, composition, and music theory with such notable composers as Sergey Taneyev, Anton Arensky, and Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov —and graduated in 1900. He was an excellent student, winning a gold medal for composition. After teaching for a while in Moscow, he studied conducting in Berlin from 1905 to 1907, first appearing in Russia as a conductor in 1908, the same year his tone poem Sireny (“The Sirens”) was enthusiastically received. Glière taught at the Kiev Conservatory and was appointed director in 1914. He became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory in 1920 and trained two generations of Soviet composers, including Khatchaturian, Miaskovsky and Prokofiev.

Glière was extremely prolific, producing operas, ballets, symphonies, symphonic poems, overtures, chamber music, songs, and piano pieces. His most important works included the symphonic poem The Sirens, the Third Symphony -- Ilya Murometz, and the ballet The Red Poppy.

He used the folk idioms of the Asiatic Union in a romantic colorful style, and later showed considerable regard for modern techniques in composition.

Glière achieved a high status in the Soviet musical world after the Russian Revolution, largely because of his interest in national styles. He organized workers’ concerts and directed committees of the Moscow Union of Composers and Union of Soviet Composers. At the end of the 20th century, Glière’s music was principally performed in countries formerly of the Soviet Union, although his ballet Krasny mak (1927; The Red Poppy) won wider international popularity for a time. Also well regarded were the ballet Medny vsadnik (1949; The Bronze Horseman) and his Symphony No. 3 (1909–11; Ilya Muromets). Among his pupils were Sergei Prokofiev, Nikolai Miaskovsky, and Aram Khachaturian.

Works for Winds

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  • SUNY Fredonia Wind Symphony concert program, 27 September 2017
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 235.