b Novospasskoye, 1 June 1804
d Berlin, 15 February 1857, aged fifty-two
He is known as the father of Russian music. Brought up in comfortable circumstances, he was always financially secure, though his health was poor. He had little formal musical training, but delighted in the company of other musicians. On leaving school in 1822 he resisted his father's pressure to enter the foreign service, preferring to be a musical dilettante in the drawing-rooms of St Petersburg. He travelled a lot, worked from 1824 to 1828 in the Ministry of Communications, which was no onerous task, but otherwise enjoyed a frivolous life. His interest in exotic places and their folk-music infected his writings, which became something of a model for future Russian composers.
Variations on a Theme of Mozart for piano
Pathétique Trio, for piano, clarinet and bassoon, or piano, violin and cello (1824-7)
String Quartet in F major
Sextet for piano and strings
A Life for the Tsar, opera (called Ivan Susanin in Russia)
The Moldavian Gipsy, incidental music
Valse-fantaisie, for orchestra (revised 1856)
Farewell to Petersburg, song cycle
Russlan and Ludmilla, opera
Spanish Overture No 1 Jota Aragonesa
Greeting to the Fatherland, for piano
Wedding Song (Kamarinskaya), fantasia for orchestra
Glinka also composed many piano pieces and songs.