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Symphony III (Kozhevnikov)

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Boris Kozhevnikov (ed. John R Bourgeois)

Subtitle: Slavyanskaya, For Concert Band

General Info

Year: 1950 (1958?) / 1995
Duration: c. 14:50
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Wingert-Jones Publications
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $135.00   |   Score Only (print) - $35.00


1. Allegro Decisively – 5:05
2. Temp of a Slow Waltz – 2:45
3. Vivace – 2:20
4. Moderato (Joyously) – 4:20


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I -II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle


  • Euphonium, Mvt. I, rehearsal 18: The concert D natural after the eighth rest should be a D-flat.
  • Euphonium, Mvt. IV, fifth bar of rehearsal 48: the third beat should be a concert A natural.

Program Notes

Slavyanskaya is a fairly conventional Russian-sounding symphony in four movements. The first is at times aggressive and lyrical, opening with a strong F-minor declamation. The second is a slow waltz with an exuberant episode in its coda. A spritely piccolo solo opens the third movement, a rondo which whizzes by at lightning speed. The fourth movement is an exuberant finale. Throughout the symphony, Kozhevnikov uses folk tunes from his native city of Novgorod as the sources of his melodic material. Although Kozhevnikov wrote Slavyanskaya in 1950, it did not receive its first performance in the U.S. until the late 1990s.

The word “Slavyanskaya” (in Russian Славянская) appears to be nothing more than a proper name. It’s also applied to a public square in Moscow, a fancy Radisson hotel also in Moscow, and a Russian brand of vodka.

- Program note by Andy Pease

Legend would tell us that the United States Marine Band (“The President’s Own”) performed a feat of great espionage upon their return home from the Soviet Union in 1990. As the military tells us, “Combining music of Sousa with images of Lenin, the Marine Band toured five cities in the former Soviet Union, becoming the only American military band to tour the USSR before its transformation into independent states.” The tour generated a bounty of propaganda during the waning months of the Cold War.

What we did not learn about until years later was the wealth of Russian band music discovered by the Marine Band musicians while on tour and, as some would tell, smuggled into the United States upon the band’s return home. Boris Kozhevnikov’s Slavyanskaya Symphony is one of a handful of contraband works heretofore never heard in the Western world until the fall of the Iron Curtain. Although composed in the late 1950s, the compositional style of this symphony is pure Classicism colored with Romantic sentimentality; the symphony reflects the ideals of Socialist Realism. The conservative compositional language (for the 1950s) provides evidence that Boris Kozhevnikov, a Soviet-era bandmaster and conservatory professor, was equally savvy in playing Communist politics — he composed music that was conservative enough for the censors, yet zestfully Slavic and (perhaps subversively) nationalistic.

The contemporary performance edition of this remarkable symphony is the product of the acclaimed U.S. Marine Band conductor, Col. John Bourgeois.

- Program note by Lawrence Stoffel for the California State Northridge Wind Ensemble concert program, 16 March 2012

I first came to know of the symphony through my Norwegian friend and band buff, Jan Ericksen, of Norwegian Radio, Olso. At that time, our knowledge of wind music in the USSR was very scant and obtaining information of performance materials was practically nil. However, Jan was and continues to be the master of musical protocol and he circuitously obtained a score and set of parts for me. Later, Jan was the person who was singularly responsible for achieving a state of ‘musical détente' between the U.S. and the USSR through his Norwegian Radio broadcasts of the Marine Band.

Program Note by Colonel John R. Bourgeois

Symphony No. 3, composed in 1958, is a four-movement symphony with heavy Russian sound, and includes the quotation of folk tunes in the melodic material that Kozhevnikov learned in his hometown of Novgorod. The name Slavyanskaya does not have a set meaning, as it is a common name, the name of a town square in Moscow and a Russian vodka company. It is unclear where Kozhevnikov acquired the inspiration for the name.

The first movement is a mix of militaristic, aggressive and lyrical playing by the ensemble. The second movement is a slow waltz ending in a stirring coda leading to the third movement rondo that seems to move at lightning speed. The final movement is an exhilarating finale, recalling the militaristic themes and style from the other movements.

- Program Note from SUNY Fredonia concert program, 12 March 2020


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Florida: VI
  • Georgia: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • Mississippi: IV-A, V-A, VI-A
  • New York: Concert Band VI
  • North Carolina: VI
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • California State University Northridge Wind Ensemble (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) - 28 April 2022
  • Clovis (Calif.) East High School Wind Ensemble (Marco Mellone, conductor) – 22 April 2022 (2022 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)
  • Loyola University New Orleans Wind Ensemble (John R. Bourgeois, conductor) - 4 April 2022
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) - 7 October 2021
  • University of South Alabama (Mobile) Wind Ensemble (William Petersen, conductor) - 29 April 2021
  • University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) Wind Ensemble (James Popejoy, conductor) – 17 November 2020
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Symphony (Donna Dolson, conductor) – 12 March 2020
  • Texas All-State Concert Band (Robert Ambrose, conductor) – 15 February 2020 (2020 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Collins High School (Suwanee, Ga.) Wind Symphony (Jeremy Lumpkin, conductor) – 31 January 2020
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Concert Band (Jason H. Nam, conductor) – 12 November 2019
  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) Symphonic Band (Randall O. Coleman, conductor) – 10 October 2019
  • Charles River Wind Ensemble (Boston, Mass.) (Matthew M. Marsit, conductor) – 2 June 2019
  • Eastern Wind Symphony (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) (Todd Nichols, conductor) – 26 April 2019
  • Arkansas State University (Jonesboro) Wind Ensemble (Timothy Oliver, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Manhattan (N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Sarah Fernandez, conductor) – 14 March 2019
  • Central Florida Winds (Melbourne, Fla.) (Richard Sabino, conductor) – 3 March 2019
  • Midway (Tx.) High School Wind Ensemble (Pam Hyatt, conductor) – 1 February 2019
  • Vassar College and Community Wind Ensemble (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) (James Osborn, conductor) – 29 April 2018
  • University of Central Arkansas (Conway) Wind Ensemble (Ricky Brooks, conductor) – 12 October 2017
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Scott C. Tobias, conductor) – 9 October 2017
  • Iowa State University (Ames) Wind Ensemble (Michael Golemo, conductor) – 29 September 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer