Alexander Glazunov was a Russian composer of the late
Russian Romantic period, music teacher and conductor. He
served as director of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory between 1905 and 1928 and was also instrumental in the
reorganization of the institute into the Petrograd Conservatory, then the Leningrad Conservatory, following the
Bolshevik Revolution. He continued heading the Conservatory until 1930, though he had left the Soviet
Union in 1928 and did not return. The best known student under his tenure during the early Soviet years was Dmitri Shostakovich.
Glazunov was significant in that he successfully reconciled
nationalism and cosmopolitanism in Russian music. While he was the direct successor to Balakirev's nationalism, he tended more towards Borodin's epic grandeur while absorbing a number of other influences. These included
Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral virtuosity, Tchaikovsky's
lyricism and Taneyev's contrapuntal skill. Younger composers such as Prokofiev and Shostakovich eventually considered his music old-fashioned while also admitting he remained a composer with an imposing reputation and a stabilizing influence in a time of transition and turmoil.