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Slonimsky, Nicolas (27 April 1894–25 December 1995), musicologist, conductor, and composer, was born Nikolai Leonidovich Slonimsky (the name is also given as Slonimski) in St. Petersburg, Russia, the son of Leonid Slonimsky, a prominent Russian scholar and writer, and Faina Vengerova. His paternal grandfather was the highly respected Hebrew scholar and scientist, Haim Selig Slonimsky. Determined to excel in all endeavors, and especially music, he received his first piano lessons at age six from his mother’s sister, the renowned pianist Isabelle Vengerova. He later enrolled in the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where from 1913 to 1918 he studied harmony and orchestration with Vasili Kalafati and Maximilian Steinberg, both of whom had studied under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Leaving St. Petersburg following the outbreak of the Revolution, he first went to Kiev, where he worked as a rehearsal pianist at the Kiev Opera and, in 1919, took composition lessons with Reinhold Glière; then, for a brief period in 1920, he was in Yalta, working as a piano accompanist instructor at the Yalta Conservatory. He then toured Europe, eventually settling in Paris, where he served as secretary and rehearsal pianist to ...