His first works were published by Jürgenson in 1901. During the years immediately prior to the 1917 Revolution, he was on the faculty of the People's Conservatory in Moscow. In 1917, he was appointed as director of the artistic wing of the Muzo-Narkompros, the music section of a newly formed ministry of arts and aducation. Throughout the 1920s, Krein was widely regarded as the leader of a Jewish national school in Russia (which included his brother Grigori and his nephew Julian).
After the formation of the Soviet Union, he held a variety of official and semi-official music administration posts. He died April 1951 in Staraya Ruza. Krein's pioneering spirit had lead him to incorporate the intonations and styles of both sacred and secular Jewish music into a relatively advanced idiom that was as influended by French impressionism as it was by the music of his friend Alexander Scriabin.  Krein's own Jewish heritage was a constant source of inspiration; there are a number of instrumental works whose titles bear quite obvious witness to this, such as the Caprice Hebraique, Op. 24, and the Jewish Sketches for clarinet and string quartet.
In 1921, he composed Kaddish for tenor soloist, choir, and orchestra. From the mid-'20s on, he also wrote music for plays given by Moscow's Jewish Drama Theater. There is also a large amount of music that is either purely classical in design or Soviet in nature. In the latter category are works like the revolutionary opera Zagmuk (1930), the Threnody in Memory of Lenin (1925), and the somewhat amusingly titled U.S.S.R., Shock Brigade of the World Proletariat (1925).
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|Symphony No. 1, Op. 35: Lento. Allegro con fouco|
|Symphony No. 1, Op. 35: Lento. Molto appassionato|
|Jewish Sketches, Second Suite, Op. 13: Andante con moto|