Alfred Schnittke

(1934 - 1998)
Alfred Schnittke was born on 24 November 1934 in Engels, on the Volga River, in the Soviet Union. His father was born in Frankfurt to a Jewish family of Russian origin who had moved to the USSR in 1926 and his mother was a Volga-German born in Russia. Schnittke began his musical education in 1946 in Vienna where his father, a journalist and translator, had been posted. In 1948 the family moved to Moscow, where Schnittke studied piano and received a diploma in choral conducting. From 1953 to 1958 he studied counterpoint and composition with Yevgeny Golubev and instrumentation with Nikolai Rakov at the Moscow Conservatory. Schnittke completed the postgraduate course in composition there in 1961 and joined the Union of Composers the same year. He was particularly encouraged by Phillip Herschkowitz, a Webern disciple, who resided in the Soviet capital. In 1962, Schnittke was appointed instructor in instrumentation at the Moscow Conservatory, a post which he held until 1972. Thereafter he supported himself chiefly as a composer of film scores; by 1984 he had scored more than 60 films.

Alfred Schnittke Composition Timpani and Percussion Requirements

Concerto Grosso No 3

No Timpani + 1 percussion
Tubular bells


No Timpani + 2 percussion
Wood block, 3 timpani, marimba, vibraphone, 4 bongos, xylophone, 3 tom toms, tubular bells

Symphony No 1

Timpani + 7 percussion
Clash cymbals, 7 suspended cymbals, 2 marimbas, vibraphone, 2 glockenspiels, 2 sets tubular bells, 6 pairs bongos, hi hat, 3 snare drums, 8 tom toms, 2 triangles, 14 wood blocks, electric siren, xylophone, orchestral bass drum, 2 tam tams, timpani

Symphony No 4

No Timpani + 4 percussion
Tam tam, 7 tuned gongs, 3 sets tubular bells & A3 & Bb3, glockenspiel, vibraphone

Viola Concerto

Timpani + 6 percussion
2 orchestral bass drums with clash cymbals attached, tubular bells, xylophone, vibraphones, glockenspiel, snare drum, 2 tam tams, flexatone

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