Anton Arensky
(1861-1906)

Anton Stepanovich Arensky was a Russian composer of Romantic classical music. Born in Novgorod, Russia, he had composed a slew of songs and pieces for piano by the age of nine. The family moved to Saint Petersburg in 1879, so that Arensky could attend the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and study with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Upon graduation in 1882, he became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory, where his notable students included Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

1895 saw the return of Arensky to Saint Petersburg, as he began work as the director for the Imperial Choir. He retired from the position in 1901, and spent the last 5 years of his life focusing on his talents as a pianist, conductor, and composer.

He died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium in Finland, though alleged drinking and gambling have been suspected as aiding in the undermining of his health.

The greatest influence in his compositional life was Pyotr Ilyich Tschaikovsky. The stigma that he lacked a distinctive personal style contributed to long-term neglect of his music. He excelled at chamber music, in which he wrote two string quartets, two piano trios, and a piano quintet.

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