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Leningrad , Oct 25, 1953 ). Russian composer . He came from a poor Jewish background and was orphaned at the age of 12. From his childhood he sang in synagogue choirs. In 1915 he graduated from the Petrograd Conservatory where he studied composition with Lyadov, Steinberg and Nikolay Tcherepnin. From 1911 he took an active part in the Society for Jewish Folk Music in St Petersburg, directing the choir. After the Revolution he was involved in music and teaching; he was later chorusmaster of Prolekul′t ( 1921–4 ) and of the opera theatre of the People's House in Petrograd