Born in Bohemia in 1839, Napravnik
arrived in St. Petersburg
in 1861 to conduct the private orchestra of Prince Yusupov.
He became assistant conductor at the Imperial Theatre two years later and then
second conductor in 1867. Two years later he succeeded Liadov
as chief conductor remaining in that post until his death in 1916.
He conducted the premieres of
many operas by Russian composers and composed much music of his own. Of his
four operas the most successful was Dubrovsky
written to a libretto by Tchaikovsky’s brother, Modest, after the story by
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