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Entries / Bortnyansky D.S., (1751-1825), composer

Bortnyansky D.S., (1751-1825), composer

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Personalia

BORTNYANSKY Dmitry Stepanovich (1751-1825, St. Petersburg), chorister, composer, Kapellmeister, director of the Court Capella (from 1801), Actual Civil Counsellor (1806). In 1758, he was brought from Malorossiya (Eastern Ukraine) to St. Petersburg as a choirboy, enjoying the favour of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna. Received musical and general education at the Capella, studied composition under B. Galuppi, and was sent with him for further instruction to Italy in 1768. Upon returning to St. Petersburg in 1779, he was appointed Kapellmeister of the Capella, for which he wrote many choral concertos, making him a classic of Russian Church Music. After 1783, he was appointed Kapellmeister of the "Small Court" of Grand Prince Pavel Petrovich, holding concerts and amateur musical performances in Pavlovsk and Gatchina, composing instrumental music and romances; in 1786-1787, he wrote three (Creonte, Alcide, and Quinto Fabio) French operas, which were performed by courtiers each year on the future Emperor's birthday. Among Bortnyansky's friends were G.R. Derzhavin, Count A.S. Stroganov (see the Stroganov Family), and I.A. Dmitrevsky. A member of the Musical Club and the Philharmonic Society, he took part in city-wide musical events, including J. Haydn oratorio The Creation (1802), and the Ludwig van Beethoven's Masses (1824). Bortnyansky was a Mason and wrote music for Masonic hymns based on poems by M.M. Kheraskov, including How Glorious is Our Lord in Zion and others. Composed over 200 musical works. As a boy, Bortnyansky most likely lived in the Corps of Court Choirboys on Novoisaakievskaya Street. In 1797, he bought and renovated the residence of Countess M.N. Skavronskaya (today 9 Millionnaya Street, since rebuilt). Buried at Smolenskoe Orthodox Cemetery, his remains were moved in 1936 to the Necropolis of Artists.

References: Рыцарева М. Г. composer Д. Бортнянский: Жизнь и творчество. Л., 1979; Музыкальный Петербург: Энцикл. слов. Т. 1: XVIII в.: В 5 кн. СПб., 1996. Кн. 1.

A. L. Porfiryeva.

Bortnyansky Dmitry Stepanovich

Millionnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 9
Yakubovicha St./Saint Petersburg, city

Рыцарева М. Г. Композитор Д. Бортнянский: Жизнь и творчество. Л., 1979
Музыкальный Петербург: Энцикл. слов.: Т.1: XVIII в.: В 5 кн. СПб., 1996

The subject Index
Philharmonic Society
Necropolis of Artists