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Igor′ Bėlza

(b Poltava, 17/May 29, 1894; d Moscow, Aug 15, 1967). Soviet music historian, theorist, pianist and instrument maker . In 1912 he went to Moscow University to read physics and mathematics, but he changed to law and graduated in 1917. At the same time he studied at the Moscow People’s Conservatory under Boleslav Yavorsky (composition) and Yevgeny Bogoslovsky and Aleksandr Goedicke (piano). Between 1912 and 1916 he appeared as a concert pianist and performed his own sonatas (all five of which have remained in manuscript) and other works, stylistically influenced by the Taneyev school. In 1915 he started teaching at the conservatory. He edited the literary journal Gyulistan, and from 1923 to 1933 held a number of posts in different publishing houses; from 1937 to 1941 he was editor of the publishing house of the USSR Academy of Architecture. For several years he played an active part in the Union of Soviet Composers; he was chairman of the Moscow branch (...