Bortniansky, Dimitri (Stepanovich)

views updated

Bortniansky, Dimitri (Stepanovich)

Bortniansky, Dimitri (Stepanovich), Russian composer; b. Glukhov, Ukraine, 1751; d. St. Petersburg, Oct. 10, 1825. He was a choirboy in the court chapel, where he attracted the attention of Galuppi, who was at the time conductor there; was sent to Italy, where he studied with Galuppi and with other Italian masters in Venice, Bologna, Rome, and Naples (1769–79). In Italy he produced his operas Creonte (Venice, Nov. 26, 1776; lost) and Quinto Fabio (Modena, Dec. 26, 1778). In 1779 he returned to St. Petersburg and became director of vocal music at the court chapel (1796); as a conductor of the chapel choir he introduced radical reforms for improvement of singing standards; composed for his choir a number of sacred works of high quality, among them a Mass according to the Greek Orthodox ritual; 35 sacred concerti in 4 parts; 10 Psalms in 8 parts; 10 concerti for Double Choir; etc. He also continued to compose for the stage; produced the comic operas, in French, Le Faucon (Gatchina, Oct. 22, 1786) and Le Fils rival (Pavlovsk, Oct. 22, 1787). His sacred choral works are publ. in 10 vols., ed. by Tchaikovsky.


B. Dobrohotov, D. B. (Moscow, 1950).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire