Eduard Napravnik

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Napravnik, Eduard Frantsevich


(also Eduard Ná-pravník). Born Aug. 12 (24), 1839, in Býŝt, Bohemia; died Nov. 10 (23), 1916, in Petrograd. Russian conductor, composer, and music figure of Czech descent.

Napravnik settled in St. Petersburg in 1861, where he worked as a conductor of Prince N. B. Iusupov’s orchestra. In 1863 he began work at the Mariinskii Theater as an assistant conductor and organist, becoming second conductor in 1867 and first conductor in 1869. For more than 50 years, Napravnik served as conductor of the Imperial Opera. He greatly improved the orchestra’s quality, making it one of the finest in the world. He staged many productions, including operas by P. I. Tchaikovsky, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, M. P. Mussorgsky, C. A. Cui, and A. N. Serov.

Napravnik also appeared as a symphonic conductor. From 1869 to 1881 he conducted concerts of the Russian Music Society. His work as a composer was of lesser significance and originality. The repertoire of modern opera houses includes only his opera Dubrovskii (based on a work by Pushkin, 1895). His mature works reveal a kinship to the Russian school of composers, above all to Tchaikovsky. Napravnik wrote the operas The People of Nizhny Novgorod (1868) and Harold (1885), orchestral and choral works, chamber music, piano pieces, and art songs.


E. F. Napravnik: Avtobiograficheskie, tvorcheskie materialy, dokumenty. pis’ma. Introduction by L. M.Kutateladze. Leningrad, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.