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Smirnov, Dmitri

Dmitri Smirnov was a pupil of Nikolai Sidelnikov, Edison Denisov and Yuri Kholopov. He had contact with Philip Hershkovich, the Webern pupil living in Moscow, during his student years, with whom he was able to deepen and broaden his knowledge of twelve-tone music without taking up dodecaphony in all its strictness. In 1976 Smirnov won First Prize at the Amsterdam Gaudeamus Competition for young composers. He is married to the composer Elena Firsova and, since his emigration in 1991, has been living in Great Britain as a lecturer and freelance composer.

Through the influence of Denisov, Smirnov has succeeded in creating a unique synthesis of serialism with expressive Franco-Russian sensualist tendencies. The poetry of William Blake has emerged as the third most marked influence; Blake’s apocalyptic images and writings have not only served as the basis for Smirnov’s dramatic works, but have also strongly influenced his vocal and chamber compositions.

On April 9, 2020, Dmitry Smirnov died at the age of 71 as a result of a coronavirus infection. 

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