Azanchevsky, Mikhail Pavlovich (von)
- Jennifer Spencer
- , revised by Edward Garden
(b Moscow, 24 March/April 5, 1839; d Moscow, 12/Jan 24, 1881). Russian composer and scholar. In 1858 he resigned from the civil service and went to Leipzig, where he studied music theory with Richter and Hauptmann. Later he took lessons from Liszt in Rome. While in Paris in 1886, he bought the extensive collection of music which had belonged to G.E. Anders. On his return to Russia in 1870 he was appointed honorary librarian to the St Petersburg Conservatory, and in the following year became its director. Unlike his predecessor Zaremba, he was favourably disposed towards the New Russian School, and one of his first acts as director was to appoint Rimsky-Korsakov as professor of practical composition and instrumentation. This bold step had a profound effect on the history of composition in Russia, and the conservatory soon became as important in the field of composition as it had already become in producing excellent instrumentalists and singers (one of its graduates during Azanchevsky's time was the great bass Fyodor Stravinsky, whose son Igor later became a pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov). Tchaikovsky referred to him as ‘a good and kind person’. Ill-health forced him to resign in ...