Veysberg, Yuliya (1878–1942)

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Veysberg, Yuliya (1878–1942)

Russian composer. Name variations: Yuliya Weissberg; Yuliya Rimskaya-Korsakova. Born Yuliya Lazarevna Veysberg in Orenburg on December 23, 1878; died in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) on March 1, 1942; married Andrei Rimsky-Korsakov (son of the composer).

Yuliya Veysberg's compositions were often tinged with exoticism, and when writing her music she was probably influenced by memories of her youth in Orenburg, at the time a semi-Asiatic town. Veysberg was born in 1878 and attended the St. Petersburg Conservatory where she studied under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov. The latter composer greatly influenced her composing style, and she is considered to be the composer most like Glazunov. Like many young Russians of the period, Veysberg was politically liberal, and she was expelled from the Conservatory for taking part in a demonstration against its director during the revolutionary upheavals of 1905. She lived in Germany from 1907 to 1912, completing her musical education, before returning to St. Petersburg where she married Andrei Rimsky-Korsakov, son of the great composer. Her abilities as a composer were quickly recognized. Leonid Sabanayeff, a contemporary Russian music critic, claimed that she was "a master in the full sense of the word, and in this respect she stands above all other women composers." One of her most successful pieces was written in 1923 to Alexander Blok's poem "The Twelve." Exotic and dramatic works greatly interested Veysberg, who was drawn to subjects like the Arabian Nights. She wrote numerous works for children, including operas, a cantata, partsongs, and songs. Her translation of the musical writings of Romain Rolland appeared in print in Moscow in 1938. Veysberg died in the Siege of Leningrad, during World War II.


Sabaneyeff, Leonid. Modern Russian Composers. Trans. by Judah A. Joffe. NY: International, 1927.

Sadie, Stanley, ed. New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 20 vols. NY: Macmillan, 1980.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia