Davïdov, Stepan Ivanovich
- Geoffrey Norris
(b nr Chernigov, 1/Jan 12, 1777; d Moscow, 10/May 22, 1825). Russian composer, conductor and pedagogue. From 1786 he was a member of the St Petersburg court chapel choir and at the age of 18 began studying with Giuseppi Sarti. In 1797 he succeeded Bortnyansky as conductor of the chapel choir at St Petersburg, a position he held for three years. In 1800 he succeeded Fomin at the imperial theatre school; there he taught singing, acted as répétiteur and was required to compose music for stage productions. Due to ill health he left in 1804, but he was reappointed in 1806 and remained associated with the school until 1810. He then moved to Moscow; in 1815 he was musical director to Count D.N. Sheremet′yev’s private theatre on his estate, Ostankino, near Moscow, and later taught singing at the Moscow Drama School.
Davïdov was one of the most important opera composers in Russia during the early years of the 19th century, and is now remembered principally for his contributions to a Russian adaptation of Kauer’s highly successful Singspiel ...