Shcherbachyov, Nikolay Vladimirovich
- Jennifer Spencer
- and Edward Garden
(b St Petersburg, 12/Aug 24, 1853; d ?Monte Carlo). Russian composer. He was the uncle of Vladimir Vladimirovich Shcherbachyov. He studied in St Petersburg, and in 1871 joined the Balakirev circle; though he was made welcome, Borodin in particular seems to have been uncertain as to the seriousness of the boy’s aims as a composer. During the next few years, however, Shcherbachyov demonstrated his ability in a number of piano pieces and orchestral works: Musorgsky admired an étude for piano in B major, which he described as ‘splendid … hot, nervous and dashing’. Cui, never the most generous of critics, admitted to being envious of the young man’s creativity, and Stasov went so far as to place him second only to Musorgsky and Borodin. Nevertheless, his fears that the young composer might ‘stand still’ were justified, for Shcherbachyov soon succumbed to the temptation to play the part of the affluent dilettante, and he never fulfilled his early promise. For a time he was away from St Petersburg, but he returned in ...