In 1920 he became professor of music at the Moscow Conservatory; his service there was interrupted only by the Second World War. While in Moscow, he taught Serge Prokofiev
, Aram Khachaturian
, and Alexander Mossolov
, the spearhead of "Soviet realism."
Glière also became a political figure in Russia during the Stalin years, serving as chairman of the organizing committee of the Soviet Composers' Union from 1938 to 1948. His conventional, utterly Russian music found favor with Stalin and his cultural ministers; the extent to which Glière's reputation as a musician may have suffered because of this will forever remain speculative. Glière received many honors during this era, including the title of People's Artist of the Soviet Union.
Glière's body of work -- which straddles the upheaval of the Russian Revolution, with fine pieces produced on both sides -- is prodigious in quantity: besides his three symphonies, four string quartets, two complete operas, two ballets, and two concertos, he produced hundreds of songs, piano works, and chamber pieces. He is considered, along with his more famous predecessor, Tchaikovsky
, to have been seminal in the development of Russian ballet; however, little of his music is heard outside Russia today. Glière's music is comfortably Romantic, invariably nationalistic, and skillfully crafted, often managing to combine beautiful melodies, inventive orchestration, and eye-popping bombast to great effect.