Leopold von Auer was a Hungarian violinist, academic and composer, best known as an outstanding violin teacher. Auer was born in Veszprém, Hungary, 7 June 1845, he first studied violin with a local concertmaster. He wrote that the violin was a "logical instrument" for any Hungarian boy to take up because it "didn't cost much." Auer continued his violin studies with Ridley Kohné, who came from Veszprém, at the Budapest Conservatory. Kohné was concertmaster of the orchestra of the National Opera. A performance by Auer as soloist in the Mendelssohn violin concerto attracted the interest of some wealthy music lovers, who gave him a scholarship to go to Vienna for further study, he lived at the home of Jakob Dont. Auer wrote. In Vienna he attended quartet classes with Joseph Hellmesberger, Sr. By the time Auer was 13, the scholarship money had run out, his father decided to launch his career. The income from provincial concerts was enough to keep father and son, a pianist who formed a duo with Leopold, out of poverty.
An audition with Henri Vieuxtemps in Graz was a failure because Vieuxtemps' wife thought so. A visit to Paris proved unsuccessful. Auer decided to seek the advice of Joseph Joachim royal concertmaster at Hanover; the king of Hanover was blind and fond of music. He paid Joachim well, on those occasions when Auer performed for the king, he was paid enough to support him for a few weeks; the two years Auer spent with Joachim proved a turning point in his career. He was well prepared as a violinist. What proved revelatory was exposure to the world of German music making—a world that stresses musical values over virtuoso glitter. Auer wrote, Joachim was an inspiration to me, opened before my eyes horizons of that greater art of which until I had lived in ignorance. With him I worked not only with my hands, but with my head as well, studying the scores of the masters, endeavoring to penetrate the heart of their works.... I played a great deal of chamber music with my fellow students. Auer spent the summer of 1864 at the spa village of Wiesbaden.
There he met violinist Henryk Wieniawski and pianist brothers Anton Rubinstein and Nicholas Rubinstein founder and director of the Moscow Conservatory and conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Auer received some informal instruction from Wieniawski. In the summer of 1865 Auer was in another spa village, Baden-Baden, where he met Clara Schumann and Johann Strauss Jr.. There were not so many touring violinists as there were but in Vienna Auer was able to hear Henri Vieuxtemps from Belgium, Antonio Bazzini from Italy, the Czech Ferdinand Laub. Auer gave concerts in 1864 as soloist with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, invited by concertmaster Ferdinand David, conductor Felix "Mendelssohn's friend." At that time, Auer says, Leipzig was "more important, from a musical point of view, than Berlin and Vienna." Success led to his becoming, at the age of 19, concertmaster in Düsseldorf. In 1866 he got the same position in Hamburg. During May and June 1868, Auer was "engaged" to play a series of concerts in London.
In one concert, he played Beethoven's Archduke Trio with pianist Anton Rubinstein and cellist Alfredo Piatti. Rubinstein was in search for a violin professor for the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, which he had founded in 1862, he proposed Auer. Auer agreed to a three-year contract as soloist at the court of Grand Duchess Helena. At first, music critics in St. Petersburg harshly criticized Auer's playing and compared it unfavorably with that of his predecessor, Wieniawski, but Tchaikovsky's admiration for Auer's playing led to its acceptance. Auer would stay for 49 years. During that time he held the position of first violinist to the orchestra of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres; this included the principal venue of the Imperial Ballet and Opera, the Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, as well as the Imperial Theatres of Peterhof and the Hermitage. Until 1906, Auer played all of the violin solos in the ballets performed by the Imperial Ballet, the majority of which were choreographed by Marius Petipa.
Before Auer and Wieniawski had played the ballet solos. Until 1906 Auer was leader of the string quartet for the Russian Musical Society; this quartet's concerts were as integral a part of the Saint Petersburg musical scene as their counterparts led by Joachim in Berlin. Criticism arose in years of less-than-perfect ensemble playing and insufficient attention to contemporary Russian music. Auer's group performed quartets by Tchaikovsky, Alexander Borodin, Alexander Glazunov and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; the group played music by Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann, along with Louis Spohr, Joachim Raff and other lesser known German composers. Sometime around 1870, Leopold decided to convert to Russian Orthodoxy. At the Conservatory, the leading piano teacher Theodor Leschetizky introduced Auer to Anna Yesipova, who Leschetizky said was his best student. Auer performed sonatas with many great pianists, but his favorite recital partner was Yesipova, with whom he appeared until her death in 1914. Other partners included Anton Rubinstein, Raoul Pugno, Sergei Taneyev and Eugen d'Albert.
One sonata Auer liked to perform was Tartini's "Devil's Trill" Sonata, written about 1713. In the 1890s, Auer performed c
The Golden Cockerel
The Golden Cockerel is an opera in three acts, with short prologue and shorter epilogue, composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Its libretto written by Vladimir Belsky derives from Alexander Pushkin's 1834 poem The Tale of the Golden Cockerel; the opera premiered in 1909 in Moscow, after the composer's death. Outside Russia it has been performed in French as Le coq d'or. Rimsky-Korsakov had considered his previous opera, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya to be his final artistic statement in the medium, indeed, this work has been called a "summation of the nationalistic operatic tradition of Glinka and The Five." However the political situation in Russia at the time inspired him to take up the pen to compose a "razor-sharp satire of the autocracy, of Russian imperialism, of the Russo-Japanese war." Rimsky-Korsakov’s previous works inspired by Alexander Pushkin's poems Tsar Saltan, had proved to be successful. The work on The Golden Cockerel was started in 1906 and finished by September 1907.
On February two symphonies were performed in Saint Petersburg. By the end of the month the director of Imperial Theatres Vladimir Telyakovskiy passed it to the censorship agency in order to get an approval for the Bolshoi Theatre, it was returned unedited, yet taken back the next day. This time many changes were requested to be made to the libretto as well as the original Pushkin's text. Rimsky-Korsakov resisted any changes, he continued the work on orchestration while fighting with progressive illness. On June Telyakovskiy informed him that the Moscow Governor-General Sergei Gershelman was against the opera. In his last letter Rimsky-Korsakov asked his friend and music publisher Boris Jurgenson to contact Michel-Dimitri Calvocoressi and suggest him to stage The Golden Cockerel in Paris, he passed away two days and thus never witnessed the premiere of his last opera. The premiere took place on 7 October 1909, at Moscow's Solodovnikov Theatre in a performance by the Zimin Opera. Emil Cooper conducted.
The opera was given at the city's Bolshoi Theatre a month on 6 November, conducted by Vyacheslav Suk and with set designs by Konstantin Korovin. London and Paris premieres occurred in 1914; the United States premiere took place at the Metropolitan Opera House on 6 March 1918, with Marie Sundelius in the title role, Adamo Didur and Maria Barrientos in the actual leads, Pierre Monteux conducting. The Met performed the work through 1945. All Met performances before World War II were sung in French; the English translators were James Gibson. The work has not been performed at the Met since the war, but it was staged at neighboring New York City Opera from 1967 to 1971, always in English, with Beverly Sills singing the Tsaritsa of Shemakha opposite Norman Treigle's Dodon, Julius Rudel conducting Tito Capobianco's production. On 13 December 1975 the BBC broadcast a live performance in English from the Theatre Royal Glasgow with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Gibson, with Don Garrard as Tsar Dodon, John Angelo Messana as the Astrologer and Catherine Gayer as the Tsaritsa.
The Mariinsky Theatre staged a new production of The Golden Cockerel on 25 December 2014, with Valery Gergiev as conductor. The stage director and costume designer was Anna Matison; the opera was presented in Russian during the 2015 winter season by the Sarasota Opera conducted by Ekhart Wycik, with set designs by David P. Gordon, featuring Grigory Soloviov as Tsar Dodon, Alexandra Batsios as the Tsaritsa of Shemakha, Timur Bekbosunov at the Astrologer, Riley Svatos as the Golden Cockerel. De Munt/La Monnaie staged a new production in Brussels in December 2016; this was a co-production with the Teatro Real of Opera National de Lorraine. The stage director and costume designer was Laurent Pelly; the role of Tsar Dodon was shared between Alexey Tikhomirov. Alexander Kravets took the role of Astrologer and the singing role of the Cockerel was played by Sheva Tehoval with Sarah Demarthe as the on-stage Cockerel. Woodwinds: 1 Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 1 English Horn, 2 Clarinets, 1 Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, 1 Contrabassoon Brass: 4 French Horns, 2 Trumpets, 1 Trumpet contralto, 3 Trombones, 1 Tuba Percussion: Timpani, Snare Drum, Glockenspiel, Bass Drum, Tam-tam Other: Celesta, 2 Harps Strings: Violins, Cellos, Double Basses Note on names: Pushkin spelled Dodon's name as Dadon.
The association of the revised spelling Dodon in the libretto with the dodo bird is intentional. Shemakha is a noun. Shemakhan is an adjectival usage. Time: Unspecified Place: In the thrice-tenth tsardom, a far off place in Russian folkloreNote: There is an actual city of Shemakha, the capital of the Shamakhi Rayon of Azerbaijan. In Pushkin's day it was an important capital of what was to become the Baku Governorate, but the realm of that name, ruled by its tsaritsa, bears little resemblance to today's Shemakha and region. After quotation by the orches
Boston Symphony Orchestra
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Boston, Massachusetts. It is one of the five major American symphony orchestras referred to as the "Big Five". Founded in 1881, the BSO plays most of its concerts at Boston's Symphony Hall and in the summer performs at Tanglewood. Andris Nelsons is the current music director of the BSO. Bernard Haitink holds the title of conductor emeritus of the BSO, Seiji Ozawa has the title of BSO music director laureate; the BSO was founded in 1881 by Henry Lee Higginson. Its first conductor was George Henschel, a noted baritone as well as conductor, a close friend of Johannes Brahms. For the orchestra, Henschel devised innovative orchestral seating charts and sent them to Brahms, who replied approvingly and commented on the issues raised by horn and viola sections in a letter of mid-November 1881; the orchestra's four subsequent music directors were all trained in Austria, including the seminal and influential Hungarian-born conductor Arthur Nikisch, in accordance with the tastes of Higginson.
Wilhelm Gericke served twice, from 1884 to 1889 and again from 1898 to 1906. According to Joseph Horowitz's review of correspondence, Higginson considered 25 candidates to replace Gericke after receiving notice in 1905, he decided not to offer the position to Gustav Mahler, Fritz Steinbach, Willem Mengelberg but did not rule out the young Bruno Walter if nobody more senior were to accept. He offered the position to Hans Richter in February 1905, who declined, to Felix Mottl in November, engaged, to previous director Nikisch, who declined, he was conductor until 1908 and again from 1912 to 1918. The music director 1908–12 was Max Fiedler, he conducted the premiere of Ignacy Jan Paderewski's Symphony in B minor "Polonia" in 1909. During World War I, was arrested, shortly before a performance of the St. Matthew Passion in 1918, interned in a prison camp without trial or charge until the end of the war, when he was deported, he vowed never to return, conducted thereafter only in Europe. The BSO's next two titled conductors were French: Henri Rabaud, who took over from Muck for a season, Pierre Monteux from 1919 to 1924.
Monteux, because of a musician's strike, was able to replace 30 players, thus changing the orchestra's sound. The orchestra's reputation increased during the music directorship of Serge Koussevitzky. One million radio listeners tuned in when Koussevitzky and the orchestra were the first to perform a live concert for radio broadcast, which they did on NBC in 1926. Under Koussevitzky, the orchestra gave regular radio broadcasts and established its summer home at Tanglewood, where Koussevitzky founded the Berkshire Music Center, now the Tanglewood Music Center; those network radio broadcasts ran from 1926 through 1951, again from 1954 through 1956. The orchestra continues to make regular live radio broadcasts to the present day; the Boston Symphony has been involved with Boston's WGBH Radio as an outlet for its concerts. Koussevitzky commissioned many new pieces from prominent composers, including the Symphony No. 4 of Sergei Prokofiev, George Gershwin's Second Rhapsody and the Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky.
They gave the premiere of Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation at the instigation of Fritz Reiner and Joseph Szigeti. Koussevitzky started a tradition of commissions that the orchestra continued, including new works by Heitor Villa-Lobos and Henri Dutilleux for its 75th anniversary, Roger Sessions, Andrzej Panufnik, for the 100th, for the 125th works by Leon Kirchner, Elliott Carter, Peter Lieberson. Other BSO commissions have included John Corigliano's Symphony No. 2 for the 100th anniversary of Symphony Hall. Hans Werner Henze dedicated his Eighth Symphony to the orchestra. Although Koussevitsky recommended his protégé Leonard Bernstein to be his successor after he retired in 1949, the BSO awarded the position to the Alsatian maestro Charles Munch. Munch had made his Boston conducting debut in 1946, he led orchestra on its first overseas tour, produced their first stereo recording in February 1954 for RCA Victor. In 1952, Munch appointed the first woman to hold a principal chair in a major U.
S. orchestra, flutist Doriot Anthony Dwyer. Erich Leinsdorf became music director in 1962 and held the post until 1969. William Steinberg was music director from 1969 to 1972. Steinberg was "ill and ailing" according to composer/author Jan Swafford, "for four years he was indisposed much of the time." After Steinberg's retirement, according to BSO trustee John Thorndike the symphony's board spoke to Colin Davis and "investigated thoroughly" his appointment, but Davis's commitments to his young family did not allow his moving to Boston from England. As the search continued, Leonard Bernstein met with four board members and recommended Michael Tilson Thomas, Assistant Conductor and Associate Conductor under Steinberg, for the directorship, but the young conductor "did not have sufficient support among the BSO players," according to journalist Jeremy Eichler; the committee chose Seiji Ozawa, who became Music Director in 1973 and held the post until 2002, the longest tenure of any Boston Symphony conductor.
(Bernard Haitink served as principal g
Michael Tree, born Michael Applebaum, was an American violist. Tree was born in New Jersey, his principal studies were with Efrem Zimbalist on violin and viola at the Curtis Institute of Music. Zimbalist insisted. Subsequent to his Carnegie Hall recital debut at the age of 20, Tree appeared as violin and viola soloist with major orchestras, including the Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New Jersey; as a founding member of the Marlboro Trio and the Guarneri Quartet, he played throughout the world and recorded more than 80 chamber music works. Prominent among these were ten piano quartets with Artur Rubinstein. Tree served on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, Bard College Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, University of Maryland School of Music and Rutgers University, performed at the Marlboro Music School and Festival. Tree played a circa 1750 Domenicus Busan viola from Italy, he played violas of the modern Japanese-American luthier Hiroshi Iizuka. During his early years with the Guarneri Quartet, Tree played on a viola made by mid-20th century luthier Harvey Fairbanks of Binghamton, New York.
Michael Tree received an honorary degree from Binghamton University. Tree's father, Samuel Applebaum, was a nationally known violin pedagogue who wrote many articles and books about music and composed or edited extensive teaching materials. Tree died of Parkinson's disease at his Manhattan apartment on March 30, 2018, at the age of 84. Outside of the chamber music recordings with the Guarneri Quartet, Tree recorded: Beethoven Serenade for Flute and Viola with Eugenia and Pinchas Zukerman Bolcom "Let Evening Come" with Benite Valente and Cynthia Raim Brahms Viola Sonatas with Richard Goode Brahms Horn Trio with Myron Bloom and Rudolf Serkin Brahms G major Viola Quintet with Isaac Stern, Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma Brahms Sextets with Isaac Stern, Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma, Sharon Robinson Mendelssohn Octet with Jaime Laredo, Alexander Schneider, Arnold Steinhardt, John Dalley, Samuel Rhodes, Leslie Parnas, David Soyer Mozart Violin and Viola Duos with Violinist Toshiya Eto Mozart Concertone with Jaime Laredo and Alexander Schneider conducting the Marlboro Festival Orchestra Schmidt Piano Quintet in G with Leon Fleisher, Joel Smirnoff, Joseph Silverstein and Yo-Yo Ma.
University of Maryland profile
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War took place from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with the Anarchists and Communists, fought against the Nationalists, an alliance of Falangists and Catholics, led by General Francisco Franco. Due to the international political climate at the time, the war had many facets, different views saw it as class struggle, a war of religion, a struggle between dictatorship and republican democracy, between revolution and counterrevolution, between fascism and communism; the Nationalists won the war in early 1939 and ruled Spain until Franco's death in November 1975. The war began after a pronunciamiento against the Republican government by a group of generals of the Spanish Republican Armed Forces under the leadership of José Sanjurjo; the government at the time was a moderate, liberal coalition of Republicans, supported in the Cortes by communist and socialist parties, under the leadership of centre-left President Manuel Azaña.
The Nationalist group was supported by a number of conservative groups, including the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups, including both the opposing sides of Alfonsists and the religious conservative Carlists, the Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista, a fascist political party. Sanjurjo was killed in an aircraft accident while attempting to return from exile in Portugal, whereupon Franco emerged as the leader of the Nationalists; the coup was supported by military units in the Spanish protectorate in Morocco, Burgos, Valladolid, Cádiz, Córdoba, Seville. However, rebelling units in some important cities—such as Madrid, Valencia, Málaga—did not gain control, those cities remained under the control of the government. Spain was thus left militarily and politically divided; the Nationalists and the Republican government fought for control of the country. The Nationalist forces received munitions and air support from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, while the Republican side received support from the Soviet Union and Mexico.
Other countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, continued to recognise the Republican government, but followed an official policy of non-intervention. Notwithstanding this policy, tens of thousands of citizens from non-interventionist countries directly participated in the conflict, they fought in the pro-Republican International Brigades, which included several thousand exiles from pro-Nationalist regimes. The Nationalists advanced from their strongholds in the south and west, capturing most of Spain's northern coastline in 1937, they besieged Madrid and the area to its south and west for much of the war. After much of Catalonia was captured in 1938 and 1939, Madrid cut off from Barcelona, the Republican military position became hopeless. Madrid and Barcelona were occupied without resistance, Franco declared victory and his regime received diplomatic recognition from all non-interventionist governments. Thousands of leftist Spaniards fled to refugee camps in southern France.
Those associated with the losing Republicans were persecuted by the victorious Nationalists. With the establishment of a dictatorship led by General Franco in the aftermath of the war, all right-wing parties were fused into the structure of the Franco regime; the war became notable for the passion and political division it inspired and for the many atrocities that occurred, on both sides. Organised purges occurred in territory captured by Franco's forces so they could consolidate their future regime. A significant number of killings took place in areas controlled by the Republicans; the extent to which Republican authorities took part in killings in Republican territory varied. The 19th century was a turbulent time for Spain; those in favour of reforming Spain's government vied for political power with conservatives, who tried to prevent reforms from taking place. Some liberals, in a tradition that had started with the Spanish Constitution of 1812, sought to limit the power of the monarchy of Spain and to establish a liberal state.
The reforms of 1812 did not last after King Ferdinand VII dissolved the Constitution and ended the Trienio Liberal government. Twelve successful coups were carried out between 1814 and 1874; until the 1850s, the economy of Spain was based on agriculture. There was little development of a bourgeois commercial class; the land-based oligarchy remained powerful. In 1868 popular uprisings led to the overthrow of Queen Isabella II of the House of Bourbon. Two distinct factors led to the uprisings: a series of urban riots and a liberal movement within the middle classes and the military concerned with the ultra-conservatism of the monarchy. In 1873 Isabella's replacement, King Amadeo I of the House of Savoy, abdicated owing to increasing political pressure, the short-lived First Spanish Republic was proclaimed. After the restoration of the Bourbons in December 1874, Carlists and Anarchists emerged in opposition to the monarchy. Alejandro Lerroux, Spanish politician and leader of the Radical Republican Party, helped bring republicanism to the fore in Catalonia, where poverty was acute.
Growing resentment of conscription and of the military culminated in the Tragic Week in Barcelona in 1909. Spain was neutral in World War I. Following the war, the working class, industrial class, military united in hopes of removing the corrupt central government, but were unsuc
Aaron Rosand is an American violinist. Born in Hammond, Indiana, he studied with Leon Sametini at the Chicago Musical College and with Efrem Zimbalist at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he has taught since 1981. Noted for his insightful and passionate performances of the romantic repertoire and his beautiful but not syrupy tone, Rosand has recorded prolifically and appeared all over the world with many major orchestras and concert organizations. In the 1960s he performed at Butler University's Festival of Neglected Romantic Music, resurrecting works that had not been heard in decades and helping spearhead the Romantic Revival in music. In an April 1970 review in The New York Times, critic Harold C. Schonberg wrote of Rosand that “Romanticism on the violin had a rebirth last night in Carnegie Hall.” In the 1970s he completed three acclaimed tours of Southern Africa. In October 2009, he sold his 1741 Guarneri del Gesù violin, which he had purchased in 1957 from the widow of Kochanski, to a Russian businessman for around US$10 million.
This was believed to be the highest price paid for a violin, Rosand donated $1.5 million to the Curtis Institute of Music. Official website Aaron Rosand at AllMusic
The Russian Empire known as Imperial Russia or Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. The third largest empire in world history, at its greatest extent stretching over three continents, Europe and North America, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires; the rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Golden Horde, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–1814 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe and expanded to the west and south; the House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov ruled from 1762. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, into Alaska and Northern California in America on the east.
With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics and religion. There were numerous dissident elements. Economically, the empire had a predominantly agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs, Russian peasants; the economy industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged, he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, laid the foundations of the Russian state. Emperor Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an huge empire into a major European power, he moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, Europe-oriented, rationalist system.
Empress Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. Emperor Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861, his policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, the United Kingdom, Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires; the Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy on principles of Orthodoxy and Nationality until the Revolution of 1905 and became a de jure constitutional monarchy. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917 as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War. Though the Empire was only proclaimed by Tsar Peter I following the Treaty of Nystad, some historians would argue that it was born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorod in 1478, or when Ivan the Terrible conquered the Khanate of Kazan in 1552. According to another point of view, the term Tsardom, used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was a contemporary Russian word for empire.
Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonization of the Pacific in the mid-17th century, the Russo-Polish War that incorporated left-bank Ukraine, the Russian conquest of Siberia. Poland was divided in the 1790 -- 1815 era, with much of the population going to Russia. Most of the 19th-century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia. Peter I the Great played a major role in introducing Russia to the European state system. While the vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns; the class of kholops, close in status to slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks.
His attention turned to the North. Peter still lacked a secure northern seaport, except at Archangel on the White Sea, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the Baltic was blocked by Sweden. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him to make a secret alliance in 1699 with Saxony, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Denmark against Sweden, resulting in the Great Northern War; the war ended in 1721. Peter acquired four provinces situated east of the Gulf of Finland; the coveted access to the sea was now secured. There he built Russia's new capital, Saint Petersburg, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. In 1722, he tur