The musicologist and librettist Alexander Medvedev was born in 1927 in Moscow, where he studied Music History and Music Theory at the Gnessin Institute.
After earning a doctorate at the Institute for Theatre, Music and Cinematography in Leningrad in 1961, he headed the editorial staff of the periodical “Sovetskaya muzyka” (1952–57) and the music literature department at the Bolshoy Theatre (1963–68). From 1972 on he served as chairman of the folklore commission in the RSFSR Association of Composers. He lectured on Soviet music and wrote a great many articles on music culture in the Soviet Union.
He also wrote the librettos for Mieczysław Weinberg’s operas The Passenger, The Madonna and the Soldier and The Portrait and for Revol Bunin’s unfinished opera Members of the Popular Freedom.