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Jennifer Spencer

[Lïsenko, Nikolay Vital′yevich]

(b Hrynky, nr Kremenchug, Poltava district, 10/March 22, 1842; d Kiev, 24 Oct/Nov 6, 1912). Ukrainian composer, pianist, conductor and folksong collector. He was first taught the piano by his mother, but was taken to Kiev at the age of nine to have lessons with Panochini and to study theory with Nejnkevič. He attended the Gymnasium at Khar′kiv and then took a course in natural sciences, first at the university there, and then at the University of Kiev (1860–64). He continued his musical education with Wolner, Dmitriyev and Wilczyk, and in Leipzig with Reinecke and Richter. As a child he had been deeply impressed by songs he heard peasants singing, and his nationalist sympathies were stimulated by a volume of Shevchenko's poetry given to him by his grandfather (at the age of 19 he was a coffin bearer at Shevchenko's funeral). As a student he was involved with the anti-tsarist movement, and was much influenced by the philosophers Belinsky, Herzen and Chernïshevsky. His beliefs, however, did not prevent him from becoming a legal adviser in the Imperial Civil Service, a post he relinquished with relief after two years....