Nikolai Zhilyayev was a student of Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov and graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1905; most of his published output as a composer dates only from his graduation through 1910. Otherwise, Zhilyayev was a very significant Russian teacher and critic. His students included Lazare Saminsky, Aram Khachaturian, Alexey Stanchinsky, Lev Knipper, and Samuel Feinberg. As a critic, he worked for several Russian journals, and published an appreciation of harpsichordist Wanda Landowska's efforts to revive early music in 1909. Zhilyayev was a close friend of Alexander Scriabin and edited the Soviet State edition of Scriabin's music. He also discovered the manuscript of Claude Debussy's early Symphony for piano four-hands and edited it for publication in 1933. Nevertheless Zhilyayev proved unable to keep clear of the interest of the NKVD during the Yezhovshchna, and was "purged," along with some 700,000 of his fellow Soviets, during the "Great Terror" that gripped Russia in the late '30s.
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