Nikolai Medtner


Biography According to the Julian calendar then in use in Russia, Nikolai Medtner was born on Christmas Eve, 1879. He was born in Moscow, the youngest of five children. According to the Gregorian calendar, in use in the west at the time, and by which all dates are calculated today, his date of birth is 5 January 1880. Medtner first took piano lessons from his mother until the age of ten, when he entered the Moscow Conservatory. He graduated in 1900 at the age of 20, taking the Anton Rubinstein prize, having studied under Pavel Pabst, Wassily Sapellnikoff, Vasily Safonov and Sergei Taneyev among others. Despite his conservative musical tastes, Medtner's compositions and his pianism were highly regarded by his contemporaries. To the consternation of his family, but with the support of his former teacher Taneyev, he soon rejected a career as a performer and turned to composition, partly inspired by ...