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 Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov


Born:   18 March [O.S. 6 March] 1844 [a 1]
Deceased:   21 June [O.S. 8 June] 1908

Russian composer, teacher, conductor, and public figure

      

Nikolay Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov was born on March 18, 1844 in Tikhvin. He studied at a navy school, but already then showed his certain inclination for music. Balakirev was among his first teachers of composition.

After finishing the navy school, Rimsky-Korsakov went on a far away cruise for three years. While in the voyage he composed music in spare time and upon return presented his first symphony to Balakirev. Its success deeply inspired the author and it was followed with Sadko and The Serbian Fantasy and then The Maid of Pskov opera, which was staged in the Mariinsky Theater in 1873. While holding various posts in the musical public field, Rimsky-Korsakov found time for extensive composing in the field of opera, symphonic, chamber, and later even church music. His most well-known of that period include the operas May Night, Snow Maiden, and others. Some fragments turned to be independent works, as it happened with Dubinushka. The opera Sadko presented on the Moscow private opera stage in 1897 was a great success repeated in Petersburg. The Mozart and Salieri opera set to lyrics by Alexander Pushkin premiered in Moscow in 1898 and took the stage in St. Petersburg in 1899. It was followed by Tsar’s Bride, another remarkable and popular opera by Rimsky-Korsakov. His symphonic activity was no less successful. The most notable of his symphonic works include Antar, Shekherezada, Spanish Sapriccio, and Sunday Overture. In addition to that, he composed a string quartet and septet, a piano concert, a violin fantasia on Russian popular themes, a number of romance songs and a capella choruses, a collection of Russian folk songs and a few short spiritual music pieces. 
 
He reorchestrated the Boris Godunov opera and several other compositions by Mussorgsky, took an active part in completing the Prince Igor opera by Borodin and in orchestration of The Stone Guest by Dargomyzhsky. 
 
The composer’s long and extensive teaching activity immensely reverberated through creativity of his students, Lyadov, Saketti, and Glazunov among them. 
 
The great composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov died on June (8)21, 1908 in his estate Lyubensk, near Luga of the St. Petersburg Province.


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