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Today’s Memory – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Nikolai Rimsky-KorsakovNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

March 18, 1844, Tikhvin – June 21, 1908, Saint Petersburg

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian composer, teacher, editor and a member of the group of composers known as The Five. He was a master of orchestration, at his best in descriptive orchestrations suggesting a mood or a place. His best-known orchestral compositions – Capriccio Espagnol, the Russian Easter Festival Overture, and the symphonic suite Scheherazade are staples of the classical music repertoire, along with suites and excerpts from some of his 15 operas.

For much of his life, Rimsky-Korsakov combined his composition and teaching with a career of officer in the Imperial Russian Navy, then as civilian Inspector of Naval Bands. He wrote that he developed a passion for the ocean in childhood from reading books and hearing of his older brother’s exploits in the navy. This love of the sea might have influenced him to write two of his best-known orchestral works, the musical tableau Sadko and Scheherazade.

Rimsky-Korsakov left a considerable body of original Russian nationalist compositions and shaped a generation of younger composers and musicians during his decades as an educator.

More on:

Symphony No.3 in C-major, Op. 32 (1873)

St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: André Anichanov


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