Sergei Taneev and Aleksandr Goldenveizer playing a duet
Composer, pianist and pedagogue Sergei Taneev (1856-1915) studied composition with Pyotr Tchaikovsky and piano with Nikolai Rubinshtein (the brother of Anton) at the Moscow Conservatory. He taught there starting in 1878, and was its director from 1885 to 1889.
Pedagogue, pianist and composer Aleksandr Goldenveizer (1875-1961) studied piano with P. A. Pabst and
A. I. Ziloti and composition with
M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov, Sergei Taneev and A. S. Arenskii at the Moscow Conservatory. He taught there starting in 1906 and was its director from 1922 to 1924 and 1939 to 1942.
Taneev and Goldenveizer visited the Tolstoy family often over a period of many years. Taneev's friendship with Tolstoy's wife, Sofya Andreevna, was one source of The Kreutzer Sonata (although the friendship was in fact platonic, and Taneev was a homosexual). Goldenveizer wrote memoirs entitled Close to Tolstoy, Fifteen Years of Notes (1922 - 1923), which is an important source of knowledge about the last years of the writer's life.