Michail Glinka (1804–1857)
With his operas A Life for the Tsar and Ruslan and Lyudmila, Michail Glinka laid the foundations for the Russian national opera. The music of other nations, however, also played a major role in his life and works.
Michail Glinka traveled throughout the Caucasus, as well as to Italy, France, Austria, Spain, Poland and Germany. In Berlin he took harmony and counterpoint lessons with Siegfried Dehn, and returned there to take more lessons from Dehn in 1856/57, just before his death. Glinka produced about 50 piano pieces, including piano duets and chamber music with piano. Although he did not perform in public himself, Glinka was, in the words of his contemporaries, a very good pianist who made one forget the presence of wooden keys.