Nikolai Ivanovich Saremba

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Nikolai Saremba (1821–1879)

Nikolai Ivanovich Saremba ( Russian: Николай Иванович Заремба , scientific transliteration Nikolaj Ivanovič Zaremba ; born June 15, 1821 in Vitebsk , died April 8, 1879 in Saint Petersburg ) was a Russian music theorist and composer . He is best known as the teacher of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky , who was his student from 1861 to 1865.


Saremba was born into a noble Polish family in the rural surroundings of Vitebsk in the Vitebsk governorate . He attended high school in Daugavpils and studied law at the University of Saint Petersburg from 1840 to 1844 . At the same time, he was able to expand his musical interests, studying piano with Anton Gerke and cello and music theory with Johann Benjamin Groß . In 1842 he composed a concert overture for large orchestra in the style of Ludwig van Beethoven , which was premiered on December 28, 1843 under the direction of Karl Schubert.

In 1852 he moved to Berlin and studied music theory and composition with Adolf Bernhard Marx . He later continued his studies at the University of Saint Petersburg. There his 1st symphony was premiered by the student orchestra. In 1859 Saremba took over music theory lessons at the Imperial Russian Music Society, the forerunner of the St. Petersburg Conservatory founded in 1862 . There he worked under the direction of Anton Grigorjewitsch Rubinstein and took over the direction of the Conservatory from him in 1867, which he held until 1872. His students included u. a. Peter Tschaikowsky, Alexander Rubez and Hyppolit Altani.


Saremba was musically in the tradition of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy . As a music theorist he was able to give the young composers of the Russian generation of composers of his time a technical security, but was rather skeptical about innovations. The distribution of his own works remained low. They are rarely listed.

Works (selection)

  • Symphony No. 1
  • Oratory of John the Baptist (1878/79)

Individual evidence

  1. Olga de Kort: Nikolaj Zaremba (1821–1879) en zijn betekenis voor de Russische muziek ( Memento of December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (nl)
  2. Feliks Purtov:  Zaremba, Nikolai Ivanovich. In: Ludwig Finscher (Hrsg.): The music in past and present . Second edition, personal section, volume 17 (Vina - Zykan). Bärenreiter / Metzler, Kassel et al. 2007, ISBN 978-3-7618-1137-5 , Sp. 1017 ( online edition , subscription required for full access)

Web links