Possessed by Music is the fascinating story of the Russian composer Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov (1865-1936). He was born into a wealthy publishing family, with very musical parents: his mother was a fine pianist and his father played the violin. The young Glazunov demonstrated a number of talents, including a gift for drawing, but his exceptional musical abilities soon attracted the attention of the famous composer Miliy Balakirev who recommended that he study with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. So successful were these lessons that Glazunov had his First Symphony performed when he was only 16 years old. Glazunov’s renown developed with the support of Mitrofan Belyayev, a timber merchant and ardent music lover, who helped to introduce him to leading composers such as Liszt. Soon Chaikovsky would also take an active interest in his career. Through the 1880s and 1890s Glazunov established an international reputation with his symphonies and ballets then, in 1899, he joined the staff of the St Petersburg Conservatory, becoming its Director in 1905. In this role he was famous for his impassioned defence of student rights, often supporting poor students with money from his private income. He remained in this post through the years of war and revolution, becoming an increasingly isolated figure, until in 1928, he left the Soviet Union, touring Europe and America before settling in Paris where he died in 1936.