Rimsky-Korsakov, a Russian composer noted for his skill in orchestration, completed his first symphony at the age of 21, while serving as a midshipman with the Imperial Russian Navy. In 1871, he became a professor at St. Petersburg Conservatory, and he taught many famous future composers, including Igor Stravinsky. As a member of a group of nationalist composers known as “The Five,” Rimsky-Korsakov aimed to write music of distinctively Russian character. What often inspired his work? More… Discuss
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Prominent Russians: Aleksandr Glazunov
August 10, 1865 – March 21, 1936
Portrait photo of Aleksandr Glazunov taken by Alfred Fedetsky. 1899, Kharkov, Ukraine
Aleksandr Glazunov was a Russian composer, professor and rector of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. His works of the late Russian Romantic period reconciled nationalism and cosmopolitanism in Russian music.
Child musical prodigy
Glazunov was born into a wealthy merchant family – his father was a prominent publisher and book trader in St. Petersburg. Glazunov’s mother was a good pianist and had a major influence on Aleksandr’s music education. She hired the best piano teachers for her son. To her great satisfaction, Glazunov was an eager student and as early as 13 he revealed a great talent for composition. In 1879 he met Mily Balakirev, one of the founders of the Russian nationalist school of composers known as The Five or The Mighty Handful.
Impressed by Glazunov’s talent, Balakirev recommended him to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a composer and a member of The Five. Rimsky-Korsakov took it upon himself to teach Glazunov the theory of composition, harmony and instrumental accompaniment. Glazunov was a bright student and was able to cover the whole Conservatory program in just a year and a half.
Glazunov composed his first symphony at the age of 16, which was first played at a free school concert. It was also later performed at the Moscow Exhibition, conducted by Rimsky-Korsakov. Glazunov’s symphony was very well received and was followed by other works, which were just as fine as his first piece.
Glazunov with Fedor Chaliapin and Vladimir Stasov
Portrait of Alexander Glazunov.
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Tagged Aleksandr Glazunov, alexander glazunov, Alfred Fedetsky, Five, Glazunov, Kharkov, Mily Balakirev, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, rimsky korsakov, Romanticism, Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Conservatory, Ukraine Aleksandr Glazunov