Born: Oc­to­ber 28, 1751, Glu­khov, Ukraine.

Died: Oc­to­ber 10, 1825, St. Pe­ters­burg, Rus­sia.

Buried: St. Al­ex­an­der Nev­sky Mon­as­tery, St. Pe­ters­burg, Russ­ia.

Bortniansky’s mu­sic­al ca­reer be­gan in the church choir. As a young man, he stu­died with Bal­das­sare Galuppi (il Buranello) in St. Pe­ters­burg. In 1769, Bort­ni­an­sky fol­lowed Ga­lup­pi to Ita­ly (with the help of a sti­pend from Rus­sian Emp­ress Ca­ther­ine) to work in op­era. His pro­duct­ions in­clud­ed Creonte (1776), Alcide (1778), and Quinto Fabio (1778). After re­turn­ing to Rus­sia, he be­came mas­ter of the court choir in St. Pe­ters­burg. In 1796, he was ap­point­ed di­rect­or of the czar’s court cha­pel and a coun­cilor of state. In ad­di­tion to his other du­ties, he com­posed li­tur­gi­cal mu­sic, and wrote op­er­as with French texts: La fête du seigneur (1786), Le faucon (1786), and Le fils-rival (1787). Af­ter his death, his work spread to Prus­sia, where his mu­sic ap­peared in Alt­preuß­ische Agen­de (Old Prus­sian Agen­da) in 1829. His tune “St. Pe­ters­burg/Wells” is a tra­di­tion­al clos­ing piece for the Groß­er Zap­fen­streich (cer­e­mon­i­al tat­too) in Ger­man mil­i­tary mu­sic.



  1. Russia, St. Petersburg, Wells (same tune, dif­fer­ent ar­range­ments)