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(b Hlukhiv, 16/Oct 27, 1745; d St Petersburg, 24 March/April 4, 1777). Ukrainian composer and singer. The scantly documented facts of his life have to be gleaned from early biographies and contemporary accounts of performances in St Petersburg and Italy. He began his musical training early, possibly at the Hlukhiv choir school, a source of many singers for the St Petersburg court, or at the Kiev Academy. He reportedly began composing three- and four-part motets when still a boy. On his arrival in St Petersburg, probably in the first half of 1757, he was employed by the court of Peter III as a principal singer at the Oranienbaum theatre, where he played the role of Poro in Francesco Araja's Alessandro nell'Indie in 1759 and that of Ircano in Vincenzo Manfredini's Semiramide riconosciuta in 1760. (Uncertainty as to whether these were soprano or tenor roles has led to some doubt about his age at the time and hence about the ascribed year of his birth.) After Catherine the Great assumed the throne in ...