Cui, César [Kyui, Tsezar′ Antonovich]
- Geoffrey Norris
- , revised by Lyle Neff
[Kyui, Tsezar′ Antonovich]
(b Vilnius, 6/Jan 18, 1835; d Petrograd [St Petersburg], March 26, 1918). Russian composer and critic of French-Lithuanian descent. His father, an officer in the French Army, remained in Russia after Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow in 1812, married a Lithuanian, Julia Gucewicz, and lived at Vilnius, where he taught French at the gymnasium. César received his early general education there, at the same time studying the piano. After a few months of harmony and counterpoint lessons from Moniuszko he entered the Engineering School at St Petersburg in 1851, and later studied at the Academy of Military Engineering (1855–7); on graduating he was appointed lecturer, and in 1879 professor. He was an acknowledged expert on fortifications, and his writings on the subject were widely acclaimed.
Cui decisively entered into the musical life of St Petersburg in 1856, when he met Balakirev; in 1857...