In embracing opera and other Soviet-approved musical forms, Zhiganov was "speaking Bolshevik." But in emphasizing the linkage between socialist forms and national content, he was able to act as an instrument of Soviet cultural authority in the TASSR while also making sure that authority prioritized the training of ethnic Tatar musicians and the composition of Tatar national works.
The theater's primary problems were financial, with Zhiganov writing to his wife on 2 March 1939 that "the theater has no money." (73) Two days later, he again admitted that "the entire theater is practically without a kopeck." (74) As artistic director, and soon as Composers' Union head, Zhiganov had no authority to alleviate the chronic underfunding of the performance arts, an issue that would continue in the TASSR in one form or another for decades.
(85) Kliucharev and other musicians working both in the TASSR and elsewhere who were not of the titular nationality may never have doubted that they could legitimately and authentically contribute to other cultures.
More important, however, was the fact that Soviet nation-building policies were never intended to be exclusively national--it was not up to Tatars alone to bring the TASSR into the bright communist future.
Indeed, questions concerning Kliucharev's contributions as a Russian to a non-Russian culture were reflective of a long-standing debate within musical circles in the TASSR. At a closed party meeting concerning the work of the Kazan State Conservatory in 1957, one Comrade Khairutdinov commented that it seemed to him that "Tatar culture can and should be truly progressed by Tatars themselves." (90) He continued, saying that "to our shame, the recently published book about [Salikh] Saidashev was written not by a Tatar but by Comrade la.
Whereas Russians, Jews, and other non-Tatars were deemed fully able to contribute to Tatar culture, the formation of an indigenous population of composers and musicians was still the central feature of the development of professional music in the TASSR through the 1950s.
Beginning in the 1930s, the professionalization of Tatar musical culture along Europeanized lines became a central feature of Soviet nationalities policy in the TASSR. This process came after the heyday of korenizatsiia and in the midst of Stalinist repression of "bourgeois nationalists," and it was part of a country-wide emphasis on economic, technological, societal, and cultural modernization.
(10) In a piece published in Literaturnaia gazeta in 2000, Lukman Zakirov argues that "in Stalin's time, [they] sent musical supervisors to the national republics under the guise of helping their 'younger brothers,'" but in actuality the goal of these supervisors was to "make possible the loss of peoples spiritual connection with their ancestors." Lukman specifically identifies Aleksandr Kliucharev, an ethnic Russian composer active in the TASSR, as one of these supervisors, but it seems fair to assume that he is hesitant to accept the contributions of any Soviet-trained Tatar composers.
Latypova, Deiatel'nost 'Narodnogo komissariataprosveshcheniia TASSR v 1920-e gg.
Alfia Galliamova argues that in the TASSR leadership of important bodies such as the part obkom (reskom) tended to include a balance of both Tatars, the titular nationality, and Russians, who composed a significant minority in the republic.
(94) "Minutes of General Meeting of TASSR Composers," 19 June 1958 (NARTf.