Yuri Kholopov

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Yuri Kholopov in 2001, Moscow

Yuri Nikolaevich Kholopov (Russian: Ю́рий Николáевич Холóпов, Yury Holopov) (August 14, 1932, Ryazan – April 24, 2003, Moscow) was a famous Russian musicologist, music theorist, doctor of arts, and professor of the Moscow Conservatoire.


After graduating from Ryazan Music Regional College he studied at the Moscow Conservatoire from 1949 to 1954 with Igor Sposobin and then with Semyon Bogatyrev, completing his master degree in 1960.

In 1963 he became a member of the Composers' Union of the USSR.

He presented his Ph.D. thesis in 1975 with a monograph Contemporary Aspects of Harmony in Music of Prokofiev printed earlier in 1967, and the Doctorate Degree thesis in 1977, with a monograph Essays in Contemporary Harmony printed in 1974. His important research of life and music of Anton von Webern was printed in two volumes in 1973 and 1975 (in collaboration with his sister, Valentina Kholopova).

He taught at the Moscow Conservatoire since 1960, where he became a professor in 1983. His teaching was highly influential for several generations of musicians. He has written more than 1000 works (800 of which have been published), practically on all aspects of music theory. Especially important were his textbooks of harmony (both theoretical and practical studies) which have been now commonly recognized in Russia as a standard of advanced music education.

Kholopov's political views and his ethical and aesthetic principles are formulated in a programmatic article about E. Denisov:

"Denisov also became to be a witness of a really terrible epoch – the crash of Russia in 90es. Being far from a policy, he could not see, of course, everything that really occurred in his fatherland [...]. Nevertheless, it is quite sure, he would keep his ideological and artistic position and would resist to "democratic" tendencies of disintegration, amoralism, unscrupulousness and a profit cult. It is possible to draw an analogy between Denisov' position and that of Olivier Messiaen, when the last was imprisoned into a concentration camp. [...] Ethical and aesthetic principles of Denisov's personality concorded very well with his life, strong physical and mental health of that Siberian, with his kind smile, steady affability and correct manner, with normal human cheerfulness. Just imagine it: a man of 65, the world famous composer in his Moscow apartment with a young wife and two funny little girls, his daughters: that is a psychological paradigm of Denisov's music which was vitally normal, sincerely healthy, beautiful, refined, bright, inner steady" (Ju. N. Kholopov. Edison Denisov i muzika kontsa veka [Edison Denisov and music of the end of the century]. In: Svet. Dobro. Vechnost'. Pamyati Edisona Denisova. Stat’i. Vospominaniya. Dokumenti [Light. Kindness. Eternity. Edison Denisov in memoriam. Articles. Recollections. Materials], ed. by V.Tsenova. Мoscow, 1999, pp. 6–7).

Selected books[edit]

  • Contemporary Aspects of Prokofiev's Harmony [1959–1964]. Book. Moscow: Muzika, 1967
  • Essays on Contemporary Harmony [1966–1967]. Moscow: Muzika, 1974; Budapest, 1978
  • Anton Webern. Life and Work. Vol. 1 [1973]. Moscow: Soviet Composer, 1984; Berlin, 1989 (In German); Milano, 1990 (In Italian). Сo-author Valentina Kholopova
  • Harmony. Theoretical Course. Moscow: Muzika, 1988; 2nd ed., SPb., 2003
  • Edison Denisov [1989–1991]. Book. Moscow: Composer, 1993; Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995 (In English). Co-author Valeria Tsenova
  • Music of Webern. Vol. 2 [1975]. Book. Moscow: Composer, 1999. Co-author Valentina Kholopova
  • Edison Denisov — the Russian Voice in European New Music. Book. Berlin: Verlag Ernst Kuhn, 2002 (In English). Co-author Valeria Tsenova
  • Harmony. Practical Course. Textbook [1984–1986]. Moscow, 2003; 2nd ed rev. Moscow, 2005.
  • Theory of Contemporary Composition / Ed. by V. Tsenova. Moscow, 2005.
  • Musical Theoretical System of Heinrich Schenker. Moscow, 2006.
  • Musical Theoretical Systems: Textbook / Ed. by T. Kyuregyan and V. Tsenova. Moscow, 2006.
  • Introduction to Musical Form / Ed. by T. Kyuregyan and V. Tsenova. Moscow, 2006.

Selected articles[edit]

External links[edit]