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Alexander Nikolayevich Serov (Алекса́ндр Никола́евич Серо́в in Cyrillic; Aleksandr Nikolaevič Serov in transliteration) – was a Russianmarker composer and music critic. He and his wife Valentina were the parents of painter Valentin Serov. He was not only one of the most important music critics in Russia during the 1850s and 1860s, but also the most significant Russian composer of opera in the years between Dargomyzhsky's Rusalka and the early operas by Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky.

Early in life Serov made friends with Vladimir Stasov, but later the two became enemies over the relative values of Glinka's two operas. Serov's admiration for Richard Wagner likewise did not endear him to The Mighty Handful, especially the younger competing critic César Cui, who, like Stasov, had been on better terms with Serov earlier.

Although Serov's operas Judith and Rogneda were quite successful in their day, none of his operas are frequently performed today. A CD recording of Judith (with some cuts) was made in 1991 by the forces of the Bolshoi Theatremarker under conductor Andrey Chistiakov.



Taruskin, Richard. Opera and Drama in Russia As Preached and Practiced in the 1860s. New ed. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 1993.

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