Mosolov studied at the Moscow Conservatory and achieved his greatest fame in the Soviet Union and around the world for his 1926 composition, Iron Foundry. Later conflicts with Soviet authorities led to his expulsion from the Composers' Union in 1936 and imprisonment in the Gulag in 1937. Following an early release, which had been argued for by his Conservatory teachers, Mosolov turned his attention to setting Turkmen and Kyrgyz folk tunes for orchestra. His later music conformed to the Soviet aesthetic to a much greater degree, but he never regained the success of his early career.
Mosolov's works include five piano sonatas (only four of which are extant), two piano concerti (only one movement exists of the second piano concerto), two cello concerti, a harp concerto, four string quartets, twelve orchestral suites, eight symphonies, and a substantial number of choral and voice pieces.