Nikandr Khanaev was born on May 27 (June 8), 1890 in the village of Pesochnia
in the Rjazan province.
The quality of his voice allowed him to go to Moscow
and study there at the conservatory (1921–24). His teacher was the contralto Lidija Jurevna Zviagina
(1861 or 1864 – 1943).
From 1925, Khanaev worked at the Bolshoj operatic studio.
was a regular member of the Bolshoj. There, he sang all the heroic-dramatic repertory:
Sadko, Sobinin, José, Otello, Siegmund, German, Tucha, Shujskij, Grigorij
Melikhov (Tikhij Don), Abesalom, Raoul, Radames, Chishko (Potjomkin by A. N. Matjushenko), ...
Unfortunately, his records were few. He recorded Pikovaja dama in 1937.
In 1949, he recorded a complete Carmen and approximately at the same time
he took part in two recordings of Boris Godunov, where
he sang Shujskij (available on video in 1954).
Khanaev was one of most successful Soviet singers.
He was appreciated by Stalin. 1948–1950, he taught singing at
the Moscow conservatoire, however without special success.
on July 23, 1974 in Moscow and is buried at the Vvedenskoe Cemetery.