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Grigory Frid (Composer)

Grigory Samuilovich Frid also Grigori Fried was a Russian composer of music written in many different genres, including chamber opera.

Born in Petrograd, now St. Petersburg, Frid studied in the Moscow Conservatory with Heinrich Litinsky and Vissarion Shebalin. He was a soldier in the Second World War. The style of his early music may be explained as conventional, written in the tradition of so-called "Socialist realism". At the age of 55 he changed his style radically, turning to the twelve-tone and other more contemporary techniques of music composition.

Frid was a prolific composer. His most notable works are his two chamber operas, both to his own libretti. The Diary of Anne Frank is a monodrama in 21 scenes for soprano and chamber orchestra, lasting about one hour. It was composed in 1968 and given a first performance with piano accompaniment at the All-Union House of Composers in Moscow on either 17 or 18 May 1972. The Letters of Van Gogh is a mono-opera in two parts for baritone and chamber ensemble, based on the letters of Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo. The opera was composed in 1975 and given its premiere in concert form at the same venue, on 29 November 1976.

He wrote three symphonies (1939, 1955, 1964), a series of instrumental concertos including a Concerto for viola, piano and string orchestra (1981), music for theatre and cinema including stage music for Phèdre by Jean Racine (1985), vocal and chamber music including a cycle Poetry (1973) for voice and chamber ensemble to poems by Federico García Lorca, a Piano Quintet (1981), a Fantasia for cello and piano (1982), Fedra (Phèdre, 1985) - a piano quintet with solo viola, and Five Songs to poems by Luís de Camões (1985).

Frid was known as having been a music propagandist and organiser of a series of lectures-concerts for young people at the "Moscow House of Composers" that were popular in the 1970s. He was also a visual artist, having had a series of exhibitions of his paintings. Frid authored a few volumes of recollections, two of which first were published in Moscow in 1987 and 1991.

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