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Biography

Alexei Vladimirovich Stanchinsky (1888-1914), was a Russian composer. He was a student at the Moscow Conservatory, where his teachers included Nikolay Zhilyayev and Sergei Taneyev. He was recognized as an outstanding talent but suffered from mental problems and was several times confined in a psychiatric clinic. He drowned under mysterious circumstances, perhaps suicide, on 25 September/6 October (OS) 1914.

Almost all Stanchinsky's surviving works are for piano; they include three sonatas, Sketches, and several preludes. He attempted to combine modality, complex polyphony, and post-Romantic chromatic harmony in the manner of Alexander Scriabin. Despite his short life he made a considerable impression on his contemporaries, and though for a long time almost none of his music was published, his pieces circulated in manuscript. Among significant Russian piano composers Sergei Prokofiev (who wrote an article about Stanchinsky in 1913), Arthur Lourié, Anatoli Alexandrov, and Samuel Feinberg all acknowledged his influence.

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