Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia on December 30, 1904
Died in Moscow February 18, 1987
The son of a Russian mathematician, Dmitri Kabalevsky was encouraged to study mathematics, but was fascinated with poetry, painting, and the piano. An accomplished young pianist, Dmitri played piano in the silent picture theaters. At the age of 21, Dmitri attended the Moscow Conservatory against the wishes of his father. There he studied music composition and later, at the age of 28, became a professor at the conservatory.
As a member of the Communist Party during World War II, Dmitri composed many patriotic songs as well as wrote and performed the music for silent pictures shows.
Kabalevsky’s efforts to connect children to the world of music found him composing music for children as well as teaching a groups of 7 year olds how to listen and to verbalize what they heard in the music. He wrote a book called Music and Education: A Composer Writes about Music Education which was published in the United States in 1988.
Kabalevsky was awarded many state honors for his music and was elected the head of several organizations dealing with music and the teaching of children. He also received an honorary degree of president of the International Society of Musical Education. While Kabalevsky wrote various kinds of music, he was most noted in Russia for his vocal songs, cantatas, and operas. Here in the United States, Kabalevsky was known for his orchestral works. He frequently traveled overseas as a member of the Soviet Committee of the Defense of Peace and promoted friendship between the Soviet Union and other countries.
He died on February 18, 1987 in Moscow.