Sergei Taneyev

1856 - 1915

Works in the repertoire



Sergei Ivanovich Taneïev born on November 13, 1856 in Vladimir and died on June 6, 1915 in Dioudkovo near Moscow, is a Russian composer.

Born into a noble family of great culture, he came into contact with music at an early age. His uncle, Alexander Taneyev, was himself a composer. He began to learn the piano at the age of five, and entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1866, the same year it was founded. His teachers were Tchaikovsky for composition and Nikolai Rubinstein, the founder, for piano. He graduated in 1875, and was the first student to win first prize in both disciplines.

That same year, he made his concert debut playing Brahms' First Concerto, and later Tchaikovsky's First. Tchaikovsky greatly appreciated his playing and asked him to create his Second. After his death, Taneïev completed and premiered his Third concerto.

He then left for Paris, where he stayed for a few years and met Ivan Tourgueniev, Gustave Flaubert, César Franck and Camille Saint-Saëns, among others.

In 1878 he became professor of composition at the Moscow Conservatory, and was even its director from 1885 to 1889. Among his students, on whom he had an important influence, were Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninov, Reinhold Glière, Paul Juon, Nikolai Medtner, Arseni Korechtchenko, Vsevolod Petrovitch Zaderatski

A friend of Leo Tolstoy's family, he spent the summers of 1895 and 1896 in their home. The attachment shown to him by Tolstoy's wife, Countess Sophie, corresponding to the time when Tolstoy was moving further and further away from his family life, embarrassed their children and made Tolstoy jealous.

Taneïev's last years were clouded by alcoholism. He died of pneumonia in 1915, shortly after attending the funeral of his student Scriabin.

Source :ï_Taneïev