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Born: 1844, Tikhvin, RussiaDied: 1908, Lyubensk, Russia

"To orchestrate is to create, and this is something that cannot be taught."

One of the "Mighty Five" composers who dominated much of Russian musical life in the latter 19th century - Tchaikovsky aside, and often opposed - Rimsky-Korsakov basically taught himself music theory while teaching others, at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, no less. Among his students were Glazunov, Ippolitov-Ivanov, and Stravinsky. A naval officer, he learned all there was to know about wind instruments as inspector of navy bands, a knowledge that he put to highly colored use as one of the period's great orchestrators.

Further listening:

Capriccio espagnol (1887)Israel Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta (Decca)

Russian Easter Overture (1888)Cleveland Orchestra, Lorin Maazel (Decca)

10/06