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Composer Fedir Akimenko (Yakymenko; b. 1876, Pisky, Ukraine, d. 1945, Paris, France), the older brother of composer Yakiv Stepovy, was recruited by the Imperial Court Chapel Choir in St. Petersburg at age 10. There he studied piano with Mily Balakirev and composition with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Anatoly Lyadov, graduating from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1900 or 1901. He subsequently taught at the Tbilisi School of Music, in Nice, his native Kharkiv, the Moscow Conservatory and the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where his pupils included Igor Stravinsky, and during which time he was an active member of the city’s Ukrainian Art and Literary Society. In 1924 he joined the faculty of the Drahomanov Ukrainian Pedagogical Institute in Prague, where he wrote the first Ukrainian textbook on counterpoint, harmony and theory. From 1928 onward he lived in France.
As a composer Akimenko is associated with the Symbolist movement. Although he is regarded primarily as a miniaturist, having composed more than 50 art songs, numerous solo piano pieces and works for chamber ensemble, he also wrote symphonic music, operas and ballets.