Davidov, Charles

1838-1889

A famous violoncellist, who was born at Goldingen in Courtland, Russia. After studying at the Moscow University and receiving a mathematical degree, in 1858, he took up his musical work, studying violoncello under Schmidt at Moscow, and Schuberth at St. Petersburg. He later studied composition at Leipsic with Hauptmann. His first public appearance was made at the Gewandhaus, Leipsic, in 1859, and was so successful that he was later appointed violoncellist in the orchestra, and professor at the Conservatory. In 1862 he was appointed cellist to the Emperor of Russia and in the orchestra of the Russian Musical Society. He was made first violoncellist to the St. Petersburg Opera the same year and later became a professor in the Conservatory there. He was a member of the St. Petersburg quartet, which was founded in 1868 and continued until Davidov's death in 1899. While director of the St. Petersburg Opera the number of free scholarships was increased through his influence and he did a great deal to aid poor students. He died in Moscow. Among his works are a symphonic sketch for orchestra, an orchestral suite, four concertos, Russian fantasia, and several smaller pieces, the best known of which are Adieu, Solitude, The Gifts of Terek, a symphonic poem, and songs, many of which attained great popularity.