Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov (1866-1901). A singularly tragic example of towering talent razed to the ground by illness, Vasily Kalinnikov spent barely a year as associate conductor of Moscow’s Italian Opera before learning that the racking cough he had tried to suppress during performances was in fact an early symptom of tuberculosis. In order to avoid infecting others, Kalinnikov resigned his post and devoted what time he had left to composition. We can only surmise what glories Kalinnikov’s future might have held, but his marvellous first symphony will have to suffice as a memorial to a genius in the making but never fully made.
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