Anton Stepanovich Arensky (1861-1906)
Russian composer, pianist and conductor Anton Arensky was born in Novgorod to a family of amateur musicians that encouraged his precocious talent: by age nine, he had already composed a number of songs and piano pieces. In 1879, the family moved to St Petersburg, thus allowing him to enter its famous Conservatory of Music, where he studied under Rimsky-Korsakov. Having brilliantly graduated in 1882, he was hired by the Moscow Conservatory, becoming the youngest member of the faculty. Among his students were Rachmaninov, Scriabine and Gretchaninov.
From 1888 to 1895, Arensky was conductor of Moscow’s Russian Choral Society, and from 1895 to 1901, conductor of the Imperial Chapel in St Petersburg, before devoting the last years of his life to touring as a concert pianist and conductor.
He died of tuberculosis while touring in Finland in 1906.
As a composer, Arensky wrote operas, ballet, choral, orchestral, piano, and chamber music, as well as songs.
Somewhat forgotten after his death, he was ”rediscovered” in the 1980s and a great number of his works have come back to the standard repertory and have been recorded.