ssm 34

Dmitri Smirnov

A Geometer of Sound Crystals:
A Book on Philipp Hershkowitz



English Edition only.


paperback, 264 pp., Format 14,2 x 21 cm, (= studia slavica musicologica, vol. 34),
music. illus.
, price: 59,95 EUR (Germany), 61,75 EUR (Austria), 118,00 CHF (other countries), ISBN 3-928864-99-8


This book is an attempt to provide a detailed account of Philip Herschkowitz (1906-89), a Rumanian-born composer and music theorist who studied in Vienna with Berg and Webern but who spent almost half a century (1939 to 1987) in the Soviet Union. His profound teaching was highly influential for a few generations of Russian musicians, including leading figures of the so called ‘Underground division’, favouring the changes of the cultural climate in that country.  This teaching was mostly transmitted orally and has never been recorded in full, thus making some materials of this book quite unique.


Dmitri Smirnov (b. 1948, Minsk), Russian composer and music theorist, living in the U. K. since 1991. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatoire in 1972, where he studied compo­sition with Nikolai Sidelnikov, orchestration with Edison Denisov, and analysis with Yuri Kholopov. Since 1970 he also studied with Webern's pupil Philip Herschkowitz. In August 1972 he married the composer Elena Firsova.

He has written over one hundred compositions in various genres including 3 operas, 3 symphonies, 10 instrumental concerti, oratorio, cantatas, chamber and electronic music. Smirnov’s recent commissions have been from the London Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Leeds Festival Chorus, Brodsky Quartet, London Sinfonietta, The Nieuw Sinfonietta of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, Karine Georgian and Mstislav Rostropovich.

As a music theorist, he has written around fifty works including books and articles on different aspects of contemporary music, researching the work of Webern, Boulez, Ligeti, Birtwistle, Ferneyhough, Shostakovich, Denisov, Schnittke, Gubaidulina, etc. His larger works include “Contemporary Treat­ment of Woodwind Instruments”,  “Musical Idea”, “Fragments about Denisov” (written together with Elena Firsova) and “A Geometer of Sound Crystals”.


ISBN 3-928864-99-8


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