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Entries / Mussorgsky М.P., (1839-1881), composer

Mussorgsky М.P., (1839-1881), composer

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Personalia
Categories / Tsarskoe Selo and town of Pushkin. The digital chronological reference book/Pushkin personality

MUSSORGSKY Modest Petrovich (1839-1881, St. Petersburg), composer. Lived in St. Petersburg from 1849, he studied at St. Petrischule and the Guards and Cavalry Cadets College in 1852-56, situated at the present-day 54 Lermontovsky Avenue. After leaving the school he was enlisted in Preobrazhensky Life-guards Regiment, to resign in 1858. He met and became a close friend of A. P. Borodin and M. A. Balakirev in 1856-57 to study composition under the latter and join the Mighty Five. A remarkable pianist, Mussorgsky was the life and soul of all music parties and salons. He made acquaintance with V. I. Lamansky, N. I. Kostomarov, K. D. Kavelin, and I. S. Turgenev and visited the so-called Stasov family's Sunday meetings, Balakirev's Wednesday meetings, C. A. Cui's Thursday meetings, and A. S. Dargomyzhsky's music parties. Close friends since the early 1870s, he and N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov lived together at 11 Panteleymonovskaya Street (today, Pestelya Street) until Mussorgksy rented a flat at 6 Shpalernaya Street (memorial plaque). After the composer died, Rimsky-Korsakov completed his opera Khovanschina, staged by the Amateur Circle of Music and Drama in 1886, and revised Boris Godunov on his own, which was first performed by the Society of Music Collections at the Grand Hall of the Conservatory in 1896 and played instead of the original version till the mid-1950s. His contemporaries would not recognize Mussorsky's innovation, his Boris Godunov was rejected twice by the Board of the Imperial Theatres and heavily distorted to be staged at Mariinsky Theatre and soon withdrawn. His Nursery, Sunless, Songs and Dances of Death, and Pictures at an Exhibition, though masterpieces of chamber music composed in 1872-78, were not really recognised by performers or audiences until the early 20th century. Mussorgsky lived in poverty and drank a lot, which brought to a sudden decline in his health. He died of erysipelas (also known as St. Anthony's fire) in the Nikolaevsky Military Hospital and was buried in the Necropolis of Artists. Mussorgsky's name was given to a music school and Maly Opera and Ballet Theatre (today, Opera and Ballet Theatre). A bust of Mussorgsky was placed in front of the former Guards and Cavalry Cadets College in 1916. A festival was held at Mariinsky Theatre in 1989, declared Mussorgsky's Year by UNESCO, to play all his operas, symphonies, and chamber compositions.

References: Орлова А. А. Труды и дни М. П. Мусоргского: Летопись жизни и творчества. М., 1963; Ее же. Мусоргский в Петербурге. Л., 1974; М. П. Мусоргский в воспоминаниях современников. М., 1989.

A. L. Porfiryeva.

Balakirev Mily Alexeevich
Borodin Alexander Porfirievich
Cui Cesar Antonovich
Dargomyzhsky Alexander Sergeevich
Kavelin Konstantin Dmitrievich
Kostomarov Nikolay Ivanovich
Lamansky Vladimir Ivanovich
Mussorgsky Modest Petrovich
Rimsky-Korsakov Nikolay Andreevich
the Stasovs
Turgenev Ivan Sergeevich

Lermontovsky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 54
Pestelya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 11
Shpalernaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 6

Литературное наследие: В 2 кн. М., 1971-1972
Орлова А. А. Мусоргский в Петербурге. Л., 1974
Орлова А. А. Труды и дни М. П. Мусоргского: Летопись жизни и творчества. М., 1963
М. П. Мусоргский в воспоминаниях современников. М., 1989

The subject Index
St. Petrischule
Preobrazhensky Life Guards Regiment
Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory
Imperial Theatres Board
Mariinsky Theatre
Necropolis of Artists
Mussorgsky Opera and Ballet Theatre