Serov, Alexander Nickolajevitch



His name is sometimes spelled Seroff. Noted Russian composer, who was born in St. Petersburg and studied cello with Carl Schuberth and general music with Hunke. He was for a time engaged in the practise of law, and also held a government position in the Crimea, but in 1850 gave it up to devote himself to the study of music. His first opera, Judith, was produced, in 1863, with such success that the Czar granted Serov a pension. His second opera, Rogneda, was also well received. He died while he was at work upon a grand opera in five acts, four of which he had completed. It was entitled The Power of the Enemy, and, scored by his friend Solovieff, was produced in 1871 and became extraordinarly popular. Serov composed four other operas, like Wagner writing his own librettos. He was a follower and enthusiastic partisan of Wagner, and was very popular in Russia. His other works include several ballets; songs; a very beautiful setting of Schiller's Glocke, (The Song of the Bell); an Ave Maria, written in 1868 for Adelina Patti; and a Stabat Mater. Serov lectured in 1865 at the University of Moscow on musical history and in 1859 and in 1864 at the University of St. Petersburg, on musical theory and dramatic composition. He also contributed articles to various periodicals. He died in his native city.