Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov was born on January 13, 1866, in Voina, a small village in the Oryol region of Russia. Born into a peasant family, Kalinnikov's talent for music was recognized early on. Despite the financial challenges his family faced, they encouraged his musical pursuits. At the age of nine, he started playing the balalaika and later joined the village church choir, where his musical abilities blossomed. His talent soon caught the attention of Alexander Kopylov, a prominent conductor and composer, who arranged for Kalinnikov to study at the Moscow Conservatory. Under the tutelage of renowned composers such as Sergei Taneyev and Anton Arensky, Kalinnikov honed his skills and developed a deep appreciation for Russian folk music and the works of Tchaikovsky.