Vladimir I. Rebikov: The Inventor of Whole-Tone Music
Vladimir Ivanovich Rebikov was born at Krasnoyark in Siberia on May 19, 1866 and died at Yalta in the Crimea on August 4, 1920. Sometimes referred to as the father of Russian modernism, he was one of the first composers to make extensive use of the whole-tone scale.
Rebikov's father was engaged in the gold-mining industry, and among his distant ancestors was a Tartar, who later converted to the Russian Orthodox faith. When Rebikov was ten, the family moved to Moscow, where he attended school. Apart from his musical education, Rebikov graduated from the University of Moscow with a degree in linguistics. His first piano lessons were with his mother, apparently a fine amateur pianist. Seized with a love for and curiosity about music, Rebikov gravitated to studies at the Moscow Conservatoire. He studied with the Moscow conductor and composer N. S. Klenovskiy (theory) and later with G. Muller (piano), K. Meyerberger (theory) in Berlin, and Jaksch (orchestration) in Vienna. Klenovskiy was a pupil of Tchaikovsky, involved at that time with the first presentations of "Eugene Onegin." It is possible that Rebikov's exposure to opera began at this time, although, like all cultured Russians of the period, he would have attended theater presentations. After residing for periods in Odessa ( 1893-1898) and Kishinev ( 1898-1901), where he attempted to establish branches of the Russian Musical Society, he moved on to Berlin, Munich, and Vienna, where he taught. It was in Odessa that the first of his operas ( "In the Storm," after V. G. Korolenko) was produced in 1894. Rebikov had had a problem with the government censor over this opera. Korolenko had been exiled to Siberia for being affiliated to a political organization. Rebikov had to backdate the action of the opera by two hundred years before performance was allowed. The control of the arts by the government under the Soviet regime was not new, but a kind of continuation of a long-established tradition. Still in Odessa, Rebikov established a branch of the Society of Composers, an early attempt to control copyright and