The illegitimate grandson of a Moscow chief of police, Krayevsky studied at Moscow University from 1823 to 1828, before serving in the office of the governor-general of Moscow, where he began to write articles and reviews for the local press. After moving to Saint Petersburg in 1831 to serve in the Ministry of Public Education, whose newsletter he helped to establish in 1835. With the assistance of Vladimir Odoyevsky (1803–1869) and Mikhail Lermontov (1814–1841) he quickly became well-established in Petersburg literary circles and a very influential figure in public life. In 1839 he became editor and publisher of the periodical Notes of the Fatherland (Отечественные записки), while simultaneously assisting the publication of numerous other journals, and also helping to produce translations of Sir Walter Scott's novels in the Russian language (1845–46).
He was the founder, publisher, and chief editor of the Saint Petersburg-based newspaper The Voice (Голос), which appeared from 1863 to 1883, and was then the most important newspaper in Russia, with an average daily print run of over 20,000 copies distributed throughout Russia and Europe. In the 1880s he joined the Saint Petersburg Urban Commission, and did a great deal to promote education in the capital.
In 1873 and 1875 Tchaikovsky wrote two letters of complaint to Krayevsky concerning articles in The Voice, and also "grumbled" about him indirectly in one of his music review articles (TH 313).
Correspondence with Tchaikovsky
2 letters from Tchaikovsky to Andrey Krayevsky (in his capacity as editor of The Voice) have survived, dating from 1873 and 1875: