The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Glinka, Mikhail Ivanovitch
GLINKA, glĕn'kä, Mikhail Ivanovitch, Russian composer: b. Novospaskoi, 1 June 1803; d. Berlin, 15 Feb. 1857. He came of an aristocratic family and received an education befitting his rank. His musical education was conducted successively by Böhm, Carl Mayer, Field and Dehn. In 1836 his opera ‘Life for the Tsar’ was presented with success at Saint Petersburg. He was regarded as the founder of Russian national opera and forerunner of Tschaikowsky and was appointed director of the imperial Opera and Kapellmeister to the tsar. A second operatic work, ‘Russlan and Ludmilla’ (1842), was inferior. His orchestral arrangements of Russian dances became well known in foreign countries. He gave a series of concerts in Paris in 1844 and from 1844 to 1847 he sojourned in Spain and wrote two overtures: ‘Jota Aragonesa’ and ‘Noche en Madrid.’ He was a brilliant performer on the pianoforte for which he composed much. He wrote also several orchestral suites and numerous songs. He wrote (in Russian) ‘Memoirs and Correspondence with Relatives and Friends.’ Consult the study by Fouquè (1880); Cui, ‘La musique en Russie’ (Paris 1880); Findeisen, N., ‘M. I. Glinka’ (Saint Petersburg 1898); Pongin, A., ‘Essai historique sur la musique en Russie’ (Paris 1904).