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Richard Taruskin

(Stepanovich )

(b St Petersburg, 11/Sept 23, 1878; d Leningrad, Jan 25, 1942). Russian librettist, pianist and conductor . He was the son of the opera singer Yevdokiya Vasil’yevna Golenishcheva-Kutuzova, through whom he was collaterally related to Musorgsky and to the painter Nikolay Roerich. Through his friendship with his exact contemporary Andrey Rimsky-Korsakov, the composer’s son, Mitusov became a habitué of the bi-weekly Wednesday musical gatherings at the Rimsky-Korsakovs’, where he met and befriended Stravinsky. A skilful versifier, he wrote the libretto for Stravinsky’s opera The Nightingale (1908–14), which is dedicated to him, and also made the singing translations from Verlaine which Stravinsky set to music in 1910. In the twenties he championed Stravinsky’s music as a performer. He died of hunger during the Leningrad blockade.

V. Yastrebtsev: Vospominaniya o N. A. Rimskom-Korsakove [Reminiscences of Rimsky-Korsakov], 2 (Leningrad, 1960) I. Stravinsky: Selected Correspondence, ed. R. Craft, 2 (New York, 1984)...