Vassili Kalinnikov Life Summary. Vassili Kalinnikov was born in January 13/January/1866 in Voin, Orlov district in Russia. Kalinnikov was the son of a cleric who also acted as a police officer. The father was a musical instrument enthusiast and played guitar and accordion. He also sang in the church.Vassili at a tender age learned to play his father’s musical instruments and later with the help of a village doctor he learned to play the violin. He lived between 1866-1901. Kalinnikov is the composer of two symphonies, several orchestral works, and many songs; Most of his works have characteristics of folksongs. His symphonies, particularly the First, were frequently performed in the early 20th century.
Kalinnikov first studied Orel in a seminar, where he became the choir leader at the age of fourteen. He then went to Moscow’s Conservatory but did not have sufficient resources to finance his studies. Due to this constraint, he transferred to Moscow’s Philharmonic Society, where he undertook bass and composition lessons with Alexandre Ilyinski. With the skills gained he was able to play in orchestras as a bassoonist, violinist, and timpanist.He also engaged in music copying as a way of supporting his meager income.
Amongst his famous compositions are his two symphonies, orchestral pieces (including the music for Tsar Boris of Alexis Tolstoï) and many songs, as well as an opening, Bylina, one of the themes that have astounding resemblance with the Soviet hymn of Alexandre Alexandrov’s music. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky recommended Kalinnikov to be director of the Maly Theater and Moscow Italian Theater in 1892, but due to his retrograding health, he had to resign and retire to Yalta, Crimea where he died of tuberculosis. (Rachmaninov, S., & Kalinnikov, V. S. Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44 LSO, Neeme Jarvi., n.d., p. 32)
Vassili Kalinnikov studied with his younger brother Viktor Sergeevich Kallinikov and Nikolai Andreevich Roslavets at the Moscow’s Philharmonic Society. Viktor Kallinikov taught singing and played in theater orchestras.He headed the Moscow art theater from 1899-1901.His works include 24 sacred choral settings for the Russian Orthodox All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy. Nikolai Andreevich Roslavets, on the other hand, had amongst his works two violin concertos, two cello sonatas, six violin sonatas and five piano trios.
- Rachmaninov, S., & Kalinnikov, V. S. Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44 LSO, Neeme Jarvi.
- VS Kalinnikov – 2006 – Musikproduktion Höflic.