Glazunov, Alexandr

Image of Glazunov

In August of 1865 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Alexandr Constantinovich Glazunov (Aleksander / Aleksandre Konstantinovich Glazounov / Glazunoff) was born to a famous publisher. His first known piano and music theory teacher was Elenovsky (first name unknown) at the age of nine, a pupil of pianist Felix Dreyschock. Before his lessons he visited the university to observe lectures. By the time he met Mily Balakirev 1879, he’d shown a talent for composition sufficient to impress the famed composer, who recommended he continue to explore his musicality and further develop as a composer and advocated for him to take private lessons from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In his teens, Mr. Glazunov produced multiple successfully performed pieces including his first Overture on Greek Themes op.3 (dedicated to musician Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray), conducted by Anton Rubinstein at the Russian Musical Society. Franz Liszt’s respect of Glazunov can receive some credit for some of his success outside of Russia. His debut as a conductor was made in Paris in 1889 and in 1900 received a professorial position at the Conservatory of Saint Petersburg.

He played a roll in Sergei Prokofiev’s life when advising him to join the conservatory in the early 1900s.

Glazunov arranged Souvenir d’un lieu cher by Tchaikovsky for violin and piano, as well as a few pieces by Cesar Cui, Chopin, Glinka, Liszt, Borodin, and Glinka.

Aleksandr dedicated the Concerto Ballata, op.108 for Cello and orchestra to top cellist Pablo Casals:

And an orchestral piece called ‘The Kremlin’ to Modest Mussorgsky.