Golitsïn [Galitzin], Prince Nikolay Borisovich
- Geoffrey Norris
(b 8/Dec 19, 1794; d Bogorodskoye, Kursk govt., 22 Oct /Nov 3, 1866). Russian music patron and cellist, father of Yury Nikolayevich Golitsïn. He served in the army (1810–32), fought in the 1812 war and was wounded at the Battle of Borodino. In his youth he spent some time in Vienna, acquiring there a sound knowledge of the Viennese Classics, and becoming an ardent admirer and collector of Beethoven’s music. He carried on a fruitful correspondence with Beethoven, starting in 1822 when he wrote to ask if he would compose ‘one, two or three new quartets’ for him. Beethoven accepted the commission, and produced (eventually) the quartets op.127, op.132 and op.130, all of which are dedicated to Golitsïn, as is the overture Die Weihe des Hauses. In 1823 Golitsïn was elected an honorary member of the St Petersburg Philharmonic Society, and it was on his initiative that the society gave the first performance of Beethoven’s ...