Wassili Sapellnikoff was born at Odessa, Russia, November 2, 1868.
He showed considerable musical talent as a child, and on the advice of Anton Rubinstein was sent to the Conservatory of music at Moscow.
Here he became a pupil of Sophie Menter, Kessler and Brassin.
He became a professor of the pianoforte at the Conservatory in 1897, having made his debut as a concert pianist at Hamburg in 1888.
He resigned this position after a few years in order to take up his residence in Germany, living for a time at Leipzig, and afterwards at Munich.
He won a considerable amount of popularity in England as well as in Germany.
He is well-known to American music lovers by his many compositions for the piano.
Some of the best known of these are:
- Danse des Elfes
- Petite Mazurka
- Second Gavotte
- Lily of the Valley
- Polka Caprice
These works are for the most part very melodious and within the range of the ability of a fairly good pianist.
As a pianist Sapellnikoff won great favor.
His earlier playing was characterized by a lack of restraint which won him popularity with the many rather than with the few who discriminate.
In later years, however, he adopted a more musical style with great advantage to his reputation.
Wassili Sapellnikoff died March 17, 1941.