Russian Aleksandr Glazunov (1865-1936) was a well-known late-romantic composer of the post-Tchaikovsky era. Descended from a well-to-do St Petersburg family, he had the opportunity to discover and develop his composing talent at an early age. His mother was a gifted pianist who had a significant impact on his musical education. Glazunov met Mili Balakirev, one of the founders of the Russian nationalist school known as ‘The Mighty Handful’, in 1879. Balakirev introduced him to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, composer and member of The Mighty Handful, who taught Glazunov composition theory, harmony, and instrumental accompaniment.
Glazunov’s career reached its pinnacle in the 1890s. During this period, he wrote his most famous works, including the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Symphonies, as well as the ballets Raymonda, Les Ruses d’Amour, and Les Saisons. He also finished some unfinished pieces by the then-deceased composer Alexander Borodin alongside Rimsky-Korsakov.
Glazunov was appointed professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1899, and he was named director five years later. He held this position for 23 years until deciding to leave Russia. He died in Paris in 1936, leaving behind roughly 200 compositions.