Sergei Słonimsky, one of the greatest contemporary Russian composers, pianist, music theorist, professor at the Saint Petersburg conservatory, died on 9 February 2020 in Saint Petersburg. Funeral ceremonies will take place on 13 February 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at the Komarovsky Cemetery.
Sergei Slonimsky was born in 1932 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He was the son of the Soviet writer Mikhail Słonimsky and a distant relative of the Polish poet Antoni Slonimsky. He graduated from piano and composition studies at the Leningrad Conservatory (now St. Petersburg Conservatory). In his work he combined many styles of contemporary music, used modern composing techniques and also referred to folk music, which he was researching. His oeuvre includes 34 symphonies, 8 operas (including Master and Margarita criticized by the socialist realist authorities), 3 ballets, chamber and vocal-instrumental works. He was also the author of music for theater plays and films.
Słonimski's compositions were performed at the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music. The composer was a guest of the festival in 1969 when his Concerto Buffo was performed under the direction of Jan Krenz. Three years earlier, Antoni Słonimski sat among the audience, witnessing the first Polish performance of Four Polish Strophes to his own words. The festival also featured Uparty wiatr (1975), Antiphons (1977) and The Novogrod Dance (1980).
In 2003, the composer was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for popularizing Polish music, while in 2011 he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis. From 2001, he was the honorary chairman of the Frederic Chopin Saint Petersburg Music and Educational Society. In 2018, the artist received the Man of Dialogue medal awarded on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Polish Institute in Moscow. One of his last compositions was a symphonic poem dedicated to the century of independence of the Republic of Poland Rebirth and triumph.