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Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov

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Biography

Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov or Liadov (Russian: Анатолий Константинович Лядов), (May 11 (old style April 29) 1855 St Petersburg - August 28 (old style August 15) 1914, Polynovka, Borovichevsky uezd, Novgorod district) was a Russian composer, teacher and conductor.

Lyadov was born in St. Petersburg into a family of eminent Russian musicians. He was taught informally by his conductor father from 1860 to 1868, and then in 1870 entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory to study piano and violin. He soon gave up instrumental study to concentrate on counterpoint and fugue, although he remained a fine pianist. His natural musical talent was highly thought of by, among others, Modest Mussorgsky, and during the 1870s he became associated with the group of composers known as The Mighty Handful. He entered the composition classes of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, but was expelled for absenteeism in 1876. In 1878 he was readmitted to these classes to help him complete his graduation composition.

He taught at the St. Petersburg Conservatory from 1878, his pupils including Sergei Prokofiev, Nikolai Myaskovsky, Mikhail Gnesin and Boris Asafiev. Consistent with his character, he was a variable, but at times brilliant instructor. Igor Stravinsky remarked that Lyadov was as strict with himself as he was with his pupils, writing with great precision and demanding fine attention to details. In 1905 he resigned briefly over the dismissal of Rimsky-Korsakov only to return when Rimsky-Korsakov was reinstated.

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