Andrejs Jurjanu

Jurjānu, Andrejs

 

(also Andrei Andreevich Iur’ian). Born Sept. 18 (30), 1856, on the estate of Mengéle, in what is now Madona Raion; died Sept. 28, 1922, in Riga. Latvian composer and folklorist.

Jurjānu studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, completing L. F. Homilius’ course in organ in 1880, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov’s composition course in 1881, and F. Kh. Homilius’ course in French horn in 1882. He became a leading figure in the Music Commission of the Riga Latvian Society and was the principal conductor at the third through fifth Latvian song festivals (1888–1895, and 1910).

One of the founders of the study of Latvian musical folklore, Jurjānu collected, studied, and adapted folk songs. He composed the first Latvian vocal-instrumental and symphonic works. His compositions include “Song Festival March” (1880) and Latvian Dances (1883–94; for orchestra). Jurjānu’s extremely important collection Materials of Latvian Folk Music contains about 1,200 melodies; the first five fascicles were published between 1894 and 1921, and the sixth was published posthumously in 1926.