These informative biographies present a revealing look into the events,
people and places that influenced the creation of the composer s major works
and tell the story of the impact that Russia had on the history of western music.
Alexander Scriabin was an enigmatic figure sometimes considered the first
of the modern composers. He composed piano and orchestral music noted
for its unusual timbres through which he sought to explore musical symbolism.
Scriabin was born in Moscow on January 6, 1872. He was raised by his
great-aunt when his mother died when he was only a year old. In 1994
Scriabin joined Rachmaninoff as a pupil of Zverev, entering the Moscow
Conservatory in 1888, graduating with the second highest medal in 1892.
While practicing at the keyboard, an injury to his right hand hampered his career as a pianist.
In 1897, Scriabin married a young pianist, but by 1903 his life had taken
a new turn. He left his teaching post at the Conservatory and Russia for
Europe and abandoned his wife Vera and their four children for a devoted
young admirer, Tatyana Schloezer, an addict of cult philosophizing who
encouraged him in his fantastic belief in himself as a godlike fount of creativity.
He settled in Switzerland and devoted himself to composition.
Scriabin's preoccupation with mystical philosophy filled his composition.
His First Symphony has a chorale finale glorifying art as a form of religion.
The Third Symphony, The Divine Poem (1903), was based on
Theosophical ideas, as were The Poem of Ecstasy (1907) and Prometheus,
The Poem of Fire (1910). He also composed sensitive, exquisitely polished piano music,
including his 10 sonatas, a concerto, as well as many preludes and short pieces,
Scriabin dreamed of redeeming humanity with an all-embracing, mystical
fusion of the arts. His absurd death stands in almost absurd contract to the vastness of his final plans.
On April 14, 1915 he died of blood-poisoning from a boil on his upper lip.