Alexander<br /> Sokolov


  • D.A.
  • Honored Art Worker of Russia
  • Professor

Full Professor
Doctor of Art, doctoral theses on ‘The Development of the Twentieth-century Music Composition’ (Moscow Conservatory, 1992)
Honored Art Worker of the Russia (1999)
Laureate of Russia’s State Literary Prize (2005)
Laureate of the International Non-governmental Prize ‘World’s Honored Donor and Benefactor’ (2005)
Honored Culture Worker of Russia's Republic of Buryatia (2007)
Member of the Composers’ Union of Russia

Alexander Sokolov was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). He grew up in the house of his grandfather, a famous Russian writer Ivan Sokolov-Mikitov.

Professional education

  • From 1964 to 1967 A. Sokolov studied in Gnesyns secondary music school (classes of violin and viola) and received silver medal after its completion.
  • From 1967 to 1968 he studied at the Moscow Conservatory college, musicology department, which he completed in two years.
  • In 1968 he became a student of the Musicology department at the Moscow Conservatory and received diploma cum laude in 1973.
  • From 1974 to 1979 he followed the conservatory postgraduate course for musical art.

Among Sokolov’s musicological advisors were prof. V. Bobrovsky, prof. N. Lavrentyeva and prof. E. Nazaikinsky.

  • In 1980 he defended cum laude his thesis ‘Sounds as core material in the language of music’ and received the Candidate of Art Criticism degree.
  • In 1992 A. Sokolov got the title of Grand Doctor in Art for his doctoral dissertation ‘The development of the 20th century music composition’.

Administrative work at the Moscow Conservatory

  • 1983–1988: Secretary of the USSR Communist Party Local Section
  • 1992–2001: Vice-rector for Scholarly Research
  • 2006–2015: Chairman of the Thesis Board
  • 2001–2004 & 2009 (June) — 2019: Elected Rector
  • 2002–2023: Chairman of the Board of Trustees
  • since 1996: Head of the Music Theory Department
  • 2001–2004 & since 2009: Chairman of the Academic Board
  • 2000–2001, 2009 (Feb.-May) & since 2019: Acting Rector
  • since 2023: Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees

In 2004–2008, Dr. Alexander Sokolov held the post of Russia’s Minister of Culture and Mass Communication.

Creative, research and practical acivities

Due to A. Sokolov’s initiative, some new courses, specially designed for propaganda of contemporary music, were introduced into the Moscow Conservatory curriculum for post-graduate students of orchestra and choral conductors faculties. New ensembles came into life, like now famous Moscow Conservatory Chamber Choir. A. Sokolov has been working for many years as musical critic, organiser and promoter of many projects of The Russian Composers’ Union and the Musical Fund of Russia, whose member he has been and still remains.  A. Sokolov is a Distinguished Professor in many universities of Europe, in Japan and South Korea, he is a member of various Russian and International Academies, a participant of a great many experts’ boards and major charity funds. He makes reports at scientific symposiums and conferences, serves as a judge at international music competitions, such as the International Rachmaninov Piano competition (USA), International Tchaikovsky competition (Russia) and the International Tchaikovsky Youth competition (Japan).  Being a Minister of Culture and Mass Communication of the Russian Federation A. Sokolov was much engaged in the work of various cross-establishment coordinative and consulting organizations in the field of culture and art. He has been the leader and participant of more than twenty commissions, boards and action groups. His long and versatile professional and social activity has been many times awarded with national and foreign signs and premiums. He was honored with the title of

  • Honored Master of Art of the Russian Federation
  • Laureate of the State prize of the Russian Federation for Literature and Art (for Enlightening Musical program ‘Academy of Music as a new peredvizhniki movement’, 2004
  • Laureate of an International non-governmental prize ‘A world’s honored donator and benefactor – 2005.

He was awarded a Middle Cross and Star decoration of Hungarian Republic (2006), Venerable Sergius of Radonezh decoration of the second grade (2006), special decoration ‘For the Rebirth of Russia, 21 century’ (2007), and decoration of Saint Innocentius of the second grade (2007).


  • From 1972 to 1979 A.Sokolov was teaching musicology at Gnesins state music college.
  • Since 1979 up till now he has been teaching at the Moscow Conservatory, Theory of Music department.
  • From 1979 till 1983 he served as a lecturer, from 1988 till 1992 as an associate professor and from 1993 as a full professor.

His pedagogical domain is a specialized course on musical works analysis for musicologists (from 1994). He is a mentor and moderator of students and postgraduates final works and dissertations.


Among his former students the most famous are N. Kolmogorova, N. Lazareva, V. Serebryakova and O. Sokolova.


The main field of A. Sokolov’ interest as musicologist is contemporary musical culture and the analysis of the 20th century music. More than 50 scholar works has been devoted by him to these theme in the form of books, articles and educational booklets. They all bring into light some new aspects of interaction between music, philosophy and esthetics, psychology and semiotics, as well as musical acoustics.

  • Musical composition in the 20th century. The Dialectic Sense of Creativity. Moscow, 1992, 1992, 2007. The book was translated into Spanish: Composición musical en el siglo XX. Dialéctica de la creación. Granada. España, 2005).
  • Music around us. Moscow, 1996.
  • Introduction into musical composition. Moscow, 2005. Chapters:                       
    • I. Musical chronology of the 20th century.
    • XIV. Space music (written in co-authorship with E. Nazaikinsky)
    • XVIII. Spectral method
  • The world of music in the mirror of time. Moscow, 2008.

Published materials about the Teacher:

  • Chicken soup from the golden-eggs producing hen. ‘Nezavisimaya gazeta’, no.3 (62), 16.02.2001. p. 9. with the Internet publication.
  • Is it true that Sokolov is Shvydkoy’s Man Friday? Anyone at the conservatory just smiles on hearing such a question. ‘Izvestia’, 17.03.2004. p. 9. with the Internet publications 1 and 2.
  • Edit-piar. ‘The time of news’. 06.10.2005. ? 185. p. 10. With Internet publication.
  • Wikipedia article about A. Sokolov in Russian.
  • Wikipedia article about A. Sokolov in English.


Elena Zaytseva