Scriabin, Aleksandr Nikolayevich

Scriabin, Aleksandr Nikolayevich əlyĭksän´dər nyēkəlī´əvĭch skrēäbēn´, skrēä´bĭn [key], 1872–1915, Russian composer and pianist. The name is sometimes spelled Skriabin or Skryabin. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory, where he later taught (1898–1903). In his piano compositions, including nine sonatas and such pieces as Satanic Poem, he introduced chords built in fourths instead of the conventional major and minor triads, producing an exotic, mystical effect. He aspired toward a fusion of the arts, and his Divine Poem (1904; the third of three symphonies), a programmatic orchestral work, attempts to unite music and philosophy. Prometheus: a Poem of Fire (1908) calls for a color organ that produces a play of lights upon a screen during the performance. A projected composition, Mysterium, that would have employed the media of all the arts, including colors and scents, was never realized.

See biography by F. Bowers (2 vol., 1969); study by J. Baker (1986).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: History, Composers, and Performers: Biographies