Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov – great composer
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was a great Russian composer and conductor. You know, he was a member of the Russian Mighty Five. All his works are connected with the fairy-tale world, with the life of the people, with the nature of Russia.
The future composer was born on March 6, 1844 in Tikhvin. His father was a descendant of a noble family. Starting with the great-great-grandfather, who was the Rear Admiral of the fleet even under Elizaveta Petrovna, all his ancestors occupied important positions in the administration or in the army. The boy began to be taught music at the age of six. But boring teachers could not instill in their pupil the love of the subject.
At the age of twelve, his father brought Nikolai to the northern capital and gave him to the naval corps. In the same year, the cellist Ullich began to teach him how to play the piano. At the age of 16, Nikolai began to take lessons from Fyodor Canilla, the famous pianist. In addition, the young man joined the Balakirev circle in 1861. A year later, Rimsky-Korsakov set out on a voyage around the world. During the trip, he wrote only Andante for the symphony.
After returning home, he greedily made up for everything that he missed during the voyage: he read, played, communicated, worked on the First Symphony and performed it in a concert. In 1867 he composed Sadko for the orchestra, which brought him real recognition. And in the same period, love came to Nikolai. He was fascinated by Nadezhda Purgold, who, together with her sister Alexandra, performed works written by the members of the circle.
The following four years the composer was working on the opera The Maid of Pskov (Pskovityanka). In 1871 Nikolai began teaching at the Conservatory and in the same year Nadezhda Purgold became his bride. They had seven children, two of whom died in childhood.
Later Rimsky-Korsakov wrote the opera May Night and right after it he asked Ostrovsky’s permission to use his play The Snow Maiden to compose music. The playwright was delighted with the result.
During 1894-1902 the composer worked on the second opera The Night Before Christmas based on the Gogol’s work. There was no end to the ovations, when in 1900 the Tale of Tsar Saltan was staged. It was written for the celebration of the centenary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth.
Then he wrote his most innovative work – the opera Kashchei the Immortal.
After the Bloody Sunday of 1905 students demanded to stop their studies until the fall. Nikolai Andreevich supported them, for which he was dismissed. To tell the truth, many professors left the conservatory together with Rimsky-Korsakov.
In 1906, the composer began work on the Golden Cockerel. A year later the opera was finished, but the governor-general of Moscow didn’t allow to stage it because of the satire on the tsar. The opera was performed in 1909, but the composer did not see it.
He died on June 21, 1908. Rimsky-Korsakov was buried in St. Petersburg at the Novodevichy Cemetery. In 1930, his ashes were moved to the Necropolis of Artists at the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.