Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Reinhold Glière was the second son of a wind instrument maker. When in 1900 he changed the spelling and pronunciation of his name from Glier to Glière, the legend was forever born of his French or Belgian descent. In that same year he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory having received a gold medal for composition for his one-act opera Earth and Heaven.
After 1917, Glière never visited the West, and his compositions reflect this grounding in, and love of, his native Eastern European heritage (from Russia to Poland and Azerbaijan). He chose instead to give concerts in places as remote as Siberia, and worked in Uzbekistan as a "musical development helper" at the end of the 1930s. His musical style bears all the hallmarks of Slavonic epic composition, with rich colourful harmonies and balanced orchestral tones. Enjoy his wonderful and quite unique work on our special Glière playlist.