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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » K » Kalinnikov, Vasily Sergeyevich

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Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov (1/13/1866 - 1/11/1901)

Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov was born in 1866 at Voina, in the Oryol District, where Turgenev, Henry James’s “beautiful genius”, had been born in 1818. The son of a police official, he was allowed, through the ecclesiastical connections of the family, to study at the seminary in Oryol, where he took charge of the choir at the age of fourteen. In 1884 he went to Moscow as a scholarship student at the Philharmonic Society School, taking lessons on the bassoon and in composition with Alexander Il’yinsky and the self-taught Pavel Blaramberg, a statistician by profession. The poverty of his family which had made it impossible for him to study at the Conservatory forced him to earn a living playing the bassoon, timpani or violin in theatre orchestras and further weakened his health, already affected by childhood privations. He was able to profit, however, from the friendship and teaching of SN Kruglikov.

In 1892 Kalinnikov’s fortunes seemed about to take a turn for the better, with his appointment, on the recommendation of Tchaikovsky, as conductor at the Malïy Theatre in Moscow and the following year by a similar appointment at the Moscow Italian Theatre, but a few months later his deteriorating health compelled him to resign in order to seek in the relative warmth of the South Crimea a cure for the tuberculosis from which he suffered. He was to remain in Yalta for the rest of his short life, completing there his two symphonies, and, among other instrumental works, incidental music for the play Tsar Boris by Alexey Tolstoy,




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