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Ludwig Minkus

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Ludwig Minkus aka Léon Fyodorovich Minkus (March 23, 1826 — December 7, 1917), was a composer of ballet music and a violin virtuoso. Born Aloisius Ludwig Minkus in Velké Meziříčí (German: Grossmeseritsch), near Brno, Moravia, Austrian Empire, {today the Czech Republic}.

He is most noted for the ballets he composed while serving as the First ballet composer to the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres, a post which he occupied from 1871 until its abolition in 1886. He continued composing music regularly for the Imperial Theatres until 1891, when he retired to Vienna. Minkus wrote nearly all of his music for the works of the great ballet masters Arthur Saint-Léon and Marius Petipa, the most celebrated being La Source (1866, composed jointly with Léo Delibes), Don Quixote (1869); and La Bayadère (1877).

Among Minkus’s most celebrated material is his additional music for Petipa’s 1881 revival of Paquita - the Grand Pas Classique, Pas de Trois (aka Minkus Pas de Trois), and the Children’s Polonaise and Mazurka; his music for the Grand Pas de Deux from Petipa’s Don Quixote (often extracted to be performed independently); and his music for the scene The Kingdom of the Shades from Petipa’s La Bayadère (also performed independently on occasion). Minkus is also noted for his re-orchestration (1884) and additional music for Petipa’s revivals of Giselle (1867, 1884, 1887), most of which have become part of Adolphe Adam’s score and are now performed by all ballet companies.

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