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O, let us exalt our dear Lord and proclaim,
In songs of true gratitude, praise to His name!
As songs of the angels in sweetest accord,
Our thanks and our praises shall rise to the Lord.
-- Zion's Harp # 165

Composer Bio Information

Ippolitof-Ivanov, Mikhail Mikhaylovich's bio information

Saturday, November 19, 1859 - Monday, January 28, 1935

After musical training at the Moscow Conservatory, Ippolitov-Ivanov was appointed director of the Tbilisi Conservatory in Georgia. In 1905 he returned to Moscow to teach at the Conservatory, where he worked until his death in 1935. He served as a conductor and continued the nationalist traditions established by the Five, with the firmer technical basis now provided by the Conservatory. He shared with Rimsky-Korsakov and Balakirev an interest in the relatively exotic, enhanced through his experience of musical life in Georgia.

Orchestral Music

Caucasian Sketches, written in 1894, followed by the Armenian Rhapsody and Iveriya, are evidence of Ippolitov-Ivanov's interest in the music of the various ethnic groups that formed part of the Russian Empire, of which further examples are found in his On the Steppes of Turkmenistan and Musical Pictures of Uzbekistan.


Born November 19, 1859 in Gatchina, Russia
Died January 28, 1935 in Moscow, Russia

A Russian composer of orchestral works and operas influenced by Caucasian and Georgian folk music, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov was born with the simple Ivanov as his last name. He later added his mother's maiden name to distinguish himself from a music critic with a similar surname. He formed his aesthetic in the 1880s under the influence of Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev, and Russian folk music, and his style never changed much even though he lived and worked into the 1930s. He was a capable yet rarely individual composer, a sort of Glazunov with a more highly developed interest in ethnic music (part of which probably came under state "encouragement" after the Revolution).

Ippolitov-Ivanov entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1875, studying under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and graduated in 1882. That year he became conductor of the symphony orchestra and director of the music school in Tiflis (later Tbilisi), Georgia, in the region of the Caucasus mountains. During his 11 years there he became enamored of the area's folk music, which colored his own works with quasi-Oriental melodies and rhythms. A recommendation from Tchaikovsky obtained Ippolitov-Ivanov a post as composition professor at the Moscow Conservatory from 1893 to 1906; in the latter year he began serving as the institution's director. His star pupil at the conservatory was Reinhold Glière. Ippolitov-Ivanov also served as conductor of the Russian Choral Society from 1895 to 1901 (but most of his major choral works postdate that tenure), and of the Mamontova Opera in Moscow from 1899 to 1906. After his 1922 retirement from the Moscow Conservatory, Ippolitov-Ivanov spent 1924-1925 reorganizing the Georgian State Conservatory, formerly the Tbilisi School. In 1925 he returned to Moscow to become the principal conductor at the Bolshoi Theater. He oversaw the premieres of a number of Rimsky-Korsakov's operas, including The Tsar's Bride, and he supervised an important revival of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov. In 1931 he also completed Mussorgsky's unfinished opera Marriage.

Ippolitov-Ivanov's 11 years in the Caucasus led to the lifelong interest in Georgian folk music that inspired several of his orchestral compositions, including two suites of Caucasian Sketches (the first being the composer's only lasting hold on the concert hall, thanks to its "Procession of the Sardar"), an Armenian Rhapsody (1909), and the symphonic poem after a verse by Mikhail Lermontov, Mtsyri ("The Novice," 1922). His folk music interests extended well to the west, as well; he wrote orchestral suites on Catalan and Finnish themes. He also composed string quartets, a violin sonata, and a symphony, but most of his orchestral works were highly programmatic, the subjects careening from On the Volga (1910) to Episodes in the Life of Schubert (1929) and Year 1917. These pieces were seldom performed after the mid-twentieth century, even in the Soviet Union; likewise, his seven operas did not remain popular. So far, Ippolitov-Ivanov seems doomed to be a one-hit composer. ~ James Reel, All Music Guide



Born in 1859 at Gatchina, near St. Petersburg, where his father was a mechanic employed at the palace, Ippolitov-Ivanov studied music at home and was a choirboy at the cathedral of St. Isaac, where he also had musical instruction, before entering the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1875. In 1882 he completed his studies as a composition pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov, whose influence was to remain strong.

Ippolitov-Ivanov's first appointment was to the position of director of the music academy and conductor of the orchestra in Tbilisi (Tiflis), the principal city of Georgia, where he was to spend the next seven years. This period allowed him to develop an interest in the music of the region, a reflection of the general interest taken in the music of non-Slav minorities and more exotic neighbours that was current at the time, and that was to receive overt official encouragement for other reasons after the Revolution.

In 1893 Ippolitov-Ivanov became a professor at the Conservatory in Moscow, of which he was director from 1905 until 1924. He served as conductor for the Russian Choral Society, the Mamontov and Zimin Opera companies and, after 1925, the Bolshoi Theatre, and was known as a contributor to broadcasting and to musical journalism.

Politically Ippolitov-Ivanov retained a measure of independence. He was president of the Society of Writers and Composers in 1922, but took no part in the quarrels between musicians concerned either to encourage new developments in music or to foster a form of proletarian art. His own style had been formed in the 1880s under Rimsky-Korsakov, and to this he added a similar interest in folk-music, particularly the music of Georgia, where he returned in 1924 to spend a year reorganizing the Conservatory in Tbilisi. He died in Moscow in 1935.

The suite "Kavkazskiye Eskizi" (Caucasian Sketches), written in 1894, is a further example of Ippolitov-Ivanov's debt to Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as to the influence of folksong, in this case the music of Georgia, on his work, an element apparent in the 1882 "Spring Overture" [1] and in the biblical scenes that formed the opera "Ruf'" (Ruth).

(The above was taken directly from the booklet in the Marco Polo label's recording of the Caucasian Sketches.) His pupils included Reinhold Glière and Sergey Vasilenko. He died in Moscow.

Ippolitov-Ivanov's works include operas, orchestral music, chamber music and a large number of songs. His style is similar to that of his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov. With the exception of his orchestral suite Caucasian Sketches (1894), which includes the much-excerpted Procession of the Sardar, his music is very rarely heard today.

As well as his entirely original works, Ippolitov-Ivanov completed Modest Mussorgsky's opera The Marriage.


* Slav Du Machst Wiener Eins
* Caucasian Sketches (1894)
o Suite No. 1, Op. 10
o Suite No. 2, Op. 42 (Iveria)
* Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 46 (1908)
* Yar-khmel (Spring Overture), Op. 1 (1882)
* Violin Sonata, Op. 8 (published by D. Rahter of Leipzig, 1887, Score from Sibley Music Library Digital Scores Collection)
* Quartet for piano and strings, Op. 9
* String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 13 (published 1890 or so)
* Ballade Romantique for violin and piano, Op. 20 (published by Universal Edition in 1928)
* Symphonic Scherzo, Op. 2
* Three Musical Tableaux from Ossian, Op. 56
o Lake Lyano
o Kolyma's Lament
o Ossian's Monologue on Contemporary Heroes
* Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 37
* Vespers, Op. 43
* Jubilee March
* Armenian Rhapsody on National Themes, Op. 48
* Turkish Fragments, Op. 62 (1930)
* Turkish March, Op. 55 (1932)
* An Episode from the Life of Schubert, Op. 61 (1920)

External links

* List of Works -
* Brief Biography -

Source: Mikhaylovich Ippolitov-Ivanov
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