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1801, November 27
1848, October 27

Alexandre Varlamov was born to the poor family of a minor official in Moscow. From his youth he was interested in music and toaught himself to play the violin. From the age of 10 until he was 18, the future composer was trained in the Petersburg Court Choir under the direction of the well-known composer Bortnyansky. The young Varlamov demonstrated an excellent voice and exceptional musicality. During these years he also learned to play the guitar, piano and violoncello.

In 1819 Varlamov received the post of chorus director to the Russian Embassy church in Holland. In Holland and Belgium he became acquainted with Italian and French opera, attended concerts of classical music, and took part in concerts as singer and guitarist.

In 1823 Varlamov returned to Russia and has settled in St. Petersburg, where he began work as a teacher of singing at a theatrical school, and later in 1829 in Court Capella. In St. Petersburg ,Varlamov got to know with Glinka. His first compositions appeared at the end of 1820's.

In 1832 he moved to Moscow, where he soon received a post as composer of music to the imperial theatres. In 1833 Alexandre Varlamov published his first collection of vocal works, "The Musical album". This collection included Russian songs on verses by the poet-actor Nikolay Tsigankov, from which a romance "The Red dress" became very popular. In the subsequent 10 years of his time in Moscow there were issued about hundred romances by this composer. At this time he also wrote much music for dramatic performances, but it has not survived. Varlamov was known also as a singer, and can be considered as one of the first outstanding chamber singers in Russia.

Alexandre Varlamov was also one of the most famous vocal teachers. In 1840 he issued his book "School of Singing" - the first large work about the teaching of vocal technique in Russia.

In 1845 Varlamov moved to St. Petersburg, where he lived on only a small pension. In the last years of his life he worked on a range of Russian national songs, of which 43 were published in the collection "The Russian Singer" in 1848.

In 1848 Alexandre Varlamov died of a tuberculosis of a throat, having composed about 200 works for for one, two and three voices.

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