Blumenfeld, Felix (Mikhaylovich)
- Joachim Braun
(b Kovalyovka, South Ukraine, 7/April 19, 1863; d Moscow, Jan 21, 1931). Russian conductor, pianist, composer and teacher, uncle of Heinrich Neuhaus. He studied the piano with Stein and composition with Rimsky-Korsakov at the St Petersburg Conservatory, where he taught the piano from his graduation in 1885 until 1918 (excluding the years 1905–11), being appointed a professor in 1897. From 1895 to 1911 he was also conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, where he gave the premières of Rimsky-Korsakov's Servilia (1902) and Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (1907) and the Russian première of Tristan und Isolde (1899). In 1908 he conducted the Russian seasons in Paris, achieving wide recognition as a conductor and, more especially, as a pianist. He lived and worked in close contact with Anton Rubinstein, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov, Rachmaninoff and Chaliapin. His performing style, influenced by Rubinstein's, was heroically brilliant and lyrically melodious; he gave the first performances of many piano works by Glazunov, Lyadov and Arensky, among others. He was well known as a teacher, first in St Petersburg, then in Kiev (...