The year of composer: Mikhail Simansky
On November, 21 we celebrate the 110th anniversary of Saratov composer Mikhail Simansky. His social activity, artistic and pedagogical heritage are of great importance for Saratov music as well as for Russian art in general. Unfortunately, due to present day epidemic situation it is impossible to hold a traditional concert within the frame of the project “The year of a composer”. But we would like to remember the outstanding musician and his creations. Students learning the Russian language, can be interested in the book about Mikhail Simansky “The Knight of symphony” written by Professor Tatyana Malysheva in 2010 and dedicated to 100th anniversary of Simansky.
Mikhail Nikolaevich Simansky (8.11.1910 – 10.10.2002) is a famous Russian composer, teacher, Honored Worker of Art of RSFSR, professor, musical and social worker. He was born in Nizhny Novgorod. His father was a very good artist, a pupil of Ilya Repin and a friend of Feodor Shalyapin and Maxim Gorky. Besides he was a passionate music lover, played the violin and piano, worked as teacher of music, composed instrumental pieces and romances.
It was his father who trained Mikhail Simansky for entering musical college. The future composer completed his studies as an external student in three years. In 1929 he entered Moscow Conservatoire and studied under famous piano professor S.E. Feinberg. The student demonstrated very good results and was even recommended for participation in an International piano competition named after F. Chopin. Unfortunately, sudden illness broke his piano career. After graduating from the conservatoire Simansky worked as piano teacher in Saransk and Nizhny Novgorod musical colleges.
He started composing at Moscow Conservatoire (1929-1934). Later he wrote some more romances, in which the style of a young composer was already noticeable. In 1938 Simansky entered Moscow conservatoire again, but this time his major was composition and he studied under Prof. A. Alexandrov. In 1940 he transferred to St. Petersburg Conservatoire where he met composer D. Schostakovich and Prof. M. Gnesin.
His training was interrupted by the Great Patriotic War. Simansky went to the front as a volunteer and was seriously injured. After hospital he studied in the school of radio operators, came back to the front, organized an Army musical ensemble and continued to compose music. He fought till the Victory Day, which he celebrated in Königsberg. After the War he received several military awards.
Mikhail Simansky graduated from conservatoire in 1948. In 1960 he came to Saratov conservatoire as teacher of composition, orchestration, instrumentation, and score reading. Many musicologists, now working in Saratov Conservatoire, were his pupils. Saratov period was the most fruitful for Simansky’s creation as here he wrote his best instrumental and vocal pieces.
Musical heritage of Simansky consists of more than 200 compositions including 3 operas, 18 instrumental concertos and 40 symphonies, many of which have a program.