Russian pianist and teacher (b. 21 October/2 November 1868 in Odessa; d. 17 March 1941 in San Remo), born Vasily Lvovich Sapelnikov (Василий Львович Сапельников); sometimes known in the West as Wassily Sapellnikoff.
Tchaikovsky and Sapelnikov
After studying under Sophie Menter at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, Sapelnikov made his debut in Hamburg in 1888 playing Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto under the composer's own direction. Over the next three years he toured frequently with Tchaikovsky, performing both the first and second concertos.
Between 1897 and 1899 he taught at the Moscow Conservatory, and left Russia in 1923 to settle in Germany and Italy.
In 1892 Tchaikovsky dedicated his piano piece Scène dansante: Invitation au trèpak — No. 18 of the Eighteen Pieces, Op. 72 — to Sapelnikov.
Correspondence with Tchaikovsky
4 letters from Tchaikovsky to Vasily Sapelnikov have survived, dating from 1889 and 1893, of which those highlighted in bold have been translated into English on this website:
- Letter 3839a – 17/29 April 1889, from Tiflis
- Letter 3889a – 27 June/9 July 1889, from Frolovskoye
- Letter 3961a – 19/31 October 1889, from Moscow
- Letter 5004b – 8/20 August 1893, from Klin