Reinhold Moritzevich Glière (1874-1956), the son of an instrument builder, was born in Kiev and learned the violin at an early age. In 1891 he entered the music school in Kiev, then studied with M. Ippolitov-Ivanov (orchestration), A. Arensky (composition) and S. Taneiev (counterpoint) at the Moscow Conservatory from 1894 until 1900. Between 1905 and 1907 he received additional training in conducting from O. Fried in Berlin, then was active as a conductor in Russia from 1908 onwards.
Glière taught at the Kiev Conservatory from 1913 onwards and from 1920-41 at the Moscow Conservatory. His most famous pupils were Sergei Prokofiev, Nikolai Miaskovsky and Nikolai Rakov. In Moscow he attained public renown for his artistic, pedagogic and political commitment. He received numerous state awards for his services to national musical culture, including his lasting furtherance of choirs and his research into and collecting of folk music, especially that of the Trans-Caucasian and Central Asian peoples.
Glière's compositions at first relate to the national Russian school, also incorporating impressionistic stylistic influences. Later, his extensive oeuvre was strongly influenced by the productive confrontation with the folk music of the non-European Soviet Republics. Glière contributed to Soviet dance theatre with his popular ballet "Krasy mak" (Red Poppies), based on a current "revolutionary" topic.