Semeon Tchernetsky

From Wind Repertory Project
Semeon Tchernetsky


Semyon Alexandrovich Tsjernetski (also transliterated Chernetsky, Tschernezkij, Tchernetsky) (24 October 1881, Odessa – 13 April 1950, Moscow) was a Russian composer, conductor, trombonist and military.

Tchernetsky was born into a musical family. His father was a violinist and the mother was a pianist. He went to the music academy in Odessa. In 1900 he moved to Chisinau, where his older brother was military bandmaster of a dragoon regiment. Here he decided to become a military musician. He worked first as an assistant to his brother, then from 1903 he was choirmaster of the Military Chapel of the artillery brigade in Chisinau. Afterwards he was until 1910 bandmaster of military bands in Odessa.

From 1911 Tchernetsky studied trombone at Loetso, orchestration with Aleksandr Konstantinovich Glazunov, orchestral conducting with Nikolaj Cherepnin, instrumentation and and composition at Jāzeps Vītols in theKonservatorija im. NVRimskogo-Korsakova in St. Petersburg, where he graduated in 1917.

The Communist Russian Army had a great shortage of military musicians and conductors in the first years of their existence. Tchernetsky actively participated in the creation of the military music schools in Petrograd and Tashkent. A class for military conductors with thirty students was established at the Eighth Infantry School in Petrograd. Tchernetsky became its main conductor and teacher.

From 1918 to 1924 he worked as an inspector of military bands in the district of Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) and as conductor of the combined military bands of the garrison of Leningrad. In 1924 he was appointed superintendent of the army and navy bands of the Soviet Union . He remained in this post until 1949. At the same time he was from 1932 conductor of the combined military orchestra of the Moscow garrison. This orchestra performed not only military but also civilian performances like concerts in the Great Theater of the USSR. He reorganized the training of musicians and band masters of the bands of the Red Army. He also worked to renew and improve the literature for the bands.

In 1932 he was principal conductor of the newly established Brass Band of the Soviet Army and in 1935 he founded the Brass Band of the Ministry of Defence, which became a model for the instrumentation of other military - and later civilian - bands.

During World War II, when the entire nation was turned into a great military camp, the march became one of the leading music genres, and Tchernetsky wrote his best combatant service marches and patriotic songs. Many of his compositions are dedicated to the heroic exploits of soldiers: Heroes of Stalingrad, Glory to the Motherland, Moscow Salute, March of the Tank Personnel, March of the Artillerymen, March of the Mortar Guards, and many others.

Tchernetsky was distinguished as a composer and conductor with numerous awards, including in 1946 with the USSR State Prize. In 1944 Tchernetsky was promoted to Major General of the Red Army. He died in 1950, leaving around 70 marches and special works for military bands.

Works for Winds