Felix Mikhailovich Blumenfeld
|Died||21 January 1931 (aged 67)|
|Occupation||Pianist, composer, conductor|
Felix Mikhailovich Blumenfeld (Russian: Фе́ликс Миха́йлович Блуменфе́льд; 19 April 1863 [O.S. 7 April] – 21 January 1931) was a Russian composer, conductor of the Imperial Opera St-Petersburg, pianist, and teacher.
He was born in Kirovograd (in present day Ukraine), Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire, the son of Mikhail Frantsevich Blumenfeld, of Austrian Jewish origin, and the Pole Maria Szymanowska. He studied composition at the St. Petersburg Conservatory under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and piano under Fedor Stein between 1881 and 1885. He then taught piano there himself from 1885 until 1918, whilst also serving as conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre until 1911.
From 1918 to 1922, he was the director of the Music-drama school of Mykola Lysenko in Kiev, where, amongst others, Vladimir Horowitz was a pupil in his masterclasses. He returned to the Moscow Conservatory in 1922, teaching there until his death. Other famous pupils of his include Simon Barere, Maria Yudina and Maria Grinberg. He died in Moscow.
As a pianist, he played many of the compositions of his Russian contemporaries. His own compositions, which showed the influence of Frédéric Chopin and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, include a symphony, pieces for solo piano, an Allegro de Concert for piano and orchestra, and lieder. His virtuoso pieces for piano in particular have enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years.