Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts





Committee Chair

Janet Page

Committee Member

Kenneth Kreitner

Committee Member

John Baur

Committee Member

William Shaltis


This dissertation introduces the work of Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin (b. 1932), and examines his approach to the genre of concerto for orchestra. Chapter one provides a brief survey of the current state of research on concertos for orchestra, as well as the composer's biography, and an overview of his compositional style. Chapter two focuses on the 1960s, the period when the first two concertos were written. It begins with an outline of the cultural and political climate that might have influenced the two pieces, and proceeds with the analysis of the Concerto for Orcehstra no. 1, the most popular of the five. The analysis examines the history and cultural background of the composition, formal organization of the piece, thematic contents and orchestration, and the compositional and performance techniques used to showcase the orchestra's expressive and virtuoso abilities. Concerto for Orchestra no. 2 also receives significant attention, as the piece presents a sharp contrast to the first concerto, in all parameters, from dramatic contents to the style of composition, even though only five years separate the two opuses. Chapters three and four present the remaining three concertos, following the same procedure as chapter two, though the analysis offers fewer details and only highlights the most interesting elements of orchestration and melodic material. Concluding thoughts and a summary of the most interesting findings make up the closing chapter. The Appendices present supplemental materials, which include (for the first two concertos) tables with wind and brass part ranges, lists of the score directions and extended techniques, and lists of most prominent and interesting instrument combinations and solos. There are complete instrumentation lists for Concertos nos. 3-5, translations of the score directions and notes that were given in Russian, as well as text translations for the songs that served as inspiration or material for direct quotations in the concertos in question. This dissertation aims to present orchestral music of Rodion Shchedrin to wider audiences, and inspire further exploration of development and evolution of this unique twentieth-century genre through this survey of one composer's approach to writing a concerto for orchestra.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.