Composer in Context: Sergey Taneyev

Opera, 2009



A highly gifted pianist and composer, Taneyev was a protégé and champion of Tchaikovsky’s, serving as a soloist in early performances of the older composer’s piano concertos.

Taneyev was one of Russia’s most influential music theorists, teaching for nearly three decades at the Moscow Conservatory where his students included Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Glière; Stravinsky later recalled how highly he valued Taneyev’s treatise on counterpoint, calling it “one of the best books of its kind.” It is this very blend of rigorous counterpuntal techniques, brilliant orchestration and supreme compositional skill that gives Taneyev such a distinct voice, not only among his (more famous) contemporaries, but also among the next generation of composers.

In collaboration with Bard’s Fisher Center, ASO Online presents an exploration of the world of Russian composer Sergey Taneyev, including two of his most significant works and insight into his background and musical influences provided by our Music Director.



Opera, 2009


Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 12 (1901)
Composed by Sergey Taneyev

A rare live performance of Taneyev’s Symphony No. 4 offered an orchestral snapshot of Russian Romanticism during the Bard Music Festival’s program, “Music Under Tsarist Autocracy.” Noted for the rigor of his compositions, this work is a study in thematic unity, woven counterpoints, and energetic potential.

Recorded live during Bard Music Festival: Rimsky-Korsakov and His World

Read the full program here


Composed by Sergey Taneyev
Conducted by Leon Botstein, music director
Directed by Thaddeus Strassberger

Russian composer Sergey Taneyev’s extraordinary and unjustly neglected opera, premiered in 1895, conveys the searing drama of Aeschylus’ powerful trilogy about the cursed House of Atreus—from Agamemnon’s fateful return from Troy to the trial of his son Orestes.

Read the full program here