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Jazeps Vitols (1863 - 1948)

Jazeps Vitols (Joseph Wihtol), distinguished Latvian composer and teacher, was born in Valmiera, Latvia on 26 July 1863. Vitols grew up in a schoolteacher’s family. His parents’ support made it possible for him to study at the famous St Petersburg Conservatory at the age of seventeen. In 1886 he graduated in composition from the St Petersburg Conservatory, where his principal teacher was Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov. Immediately thereafter he joined the faculty of the Conservatory, where from 1901-1918 he was full professor. Among his students were Sergey Prokofiev, Nikolai Miaskovsky, and Vladimir Scherbachov. During his 32 years in St Petersburg he became intimate friends with Anatoly Ladov and correspondent of the St Petersburg Zeitung - and director of the Latvian Chorus in St Petersburg.




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