Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov (Сергей Михайлович Ляпунов) (1859 – 1924).
The son of an important Russian astronomer, Sergei Lyapunov received his earliest piano lessons from his mother before turning to professionals. He studied under Tchaikovsky and Taneyev, but it was Balakirev who was to have the greatest influence on the burgeoning young composer. Already close friends, the two set out (alongside Lyadov) to collect Russian folksongs – a very early effort at ethnomusicological study. Though Balakirev knew that the timid Lyapunov was not suited to succeed him as music director at the Russian imperial chapel, he saw to it that the younger man was well looked after. Lyapunov, meanwhile, emerged as one of the greatest Russian composers of his generation; though his orchestral works betray the influence of Balakirev, his piano works manage to be strikingly original despite their deliberate echoes of Liszt.
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