Sergei Liapunov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Liapunov, Sergei Mikhailovich


Born Nov. 18 (30), 1859, in Yaroslavl; died Nov. 8, 1924, in Paris. Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Son of the scholar and astronomer M. V. Liapunov.

Liapunov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1883 as a composer and pianist. Soon thereafter he moved to St. Petersburg, where he became good friends with M. A. Balakirev, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, A. K. Glazunov, and A. K. Liadov. From 1894 to 1902 he served as assistant manager of the Court Choristers’ Chapel. In 1908 he was appointed director of the Free Music School. From 1910 to 1923, Liapunov was professor at the St. Petersburg (Petrograd) Conservatory, teaching piano and, from 1917, courses in composition and counterpoint and fugue.

In 1919, Liapunov became director of a school for special music education (subsequently the Fourth State Music Technicum); he also gave courses in the history of Russian music at the Institute of the History of Art in Petrograd. He performed in concert both as a pianist and conductor. He left on a tour abroad in 1923 and died of a heart attack in Paris.

Liapunov’s creativity is linked with the tradition of the Russian Five. Some of his best works were written for the piano. His other compositions include two symphonies, the Solemn Overture on Russian Themes, two piano concertos, a violin concerto, the Ukrainian Rhapsody (for piano and orchestra), piano pieces, and art songs. Liapunov edited the collected works of M. I. Glinka with M. A. Balakirev, whose memory and reputation he helped to secure.


Liapunova, A. “S. M. Liapunov.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1950, no. 9.
Shifman, M. S. M. Liapunov. Moscow, 1960.
Alekseev, A. D. Russkaia fortepiannaia muzyka. Moscow, 1969. Pages 97-105.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.