Aleksey Zhivotov

Aleksey Semyonovich Zhivotov (1904 – 1964), also spelled as Givotoff, was born in Kazan and studied with one of the great figures of Russian music, Vladimir Scherbachev (1887-1952).
At the beginning of his career as a composer his style was adventurous and modern (Suite for Orchestra / Frammenti, both written in 1928), but from 1929 he was silenced by Stalin's suffocating and life threatening regime. The 16th Communist Party Congress brought an end to modern, adventurous music and described chamber music as 'elitist'. Composers were subsequently forced to write only so-called social-realistic music in the service of people and country. They were compelled, for survival's sake, to change their style drastically or to move to remote regions where, far away from public, political life, they occupied themselves with music education or studies of regional folk music.
Zhivotov held a number of administrative posts besides composing patriotic songs, choral works and theatre music in accordance with the imposed restrictions. Having remained in Leningrad during the Nazis seige (1941-2), he was awarded a state medal for bravery.
Zhivotov died in Leningrad in 1964.