Thomas Alexandrovich de Hartmann (1885-1956) was born into an aristocratic family on 21 September, 1885 in Khoruzhivka, to the east of Kiev, in which is presently Ukraine.
He studied at the Conservatory of St. Petersburg, receiving his diploma at the age of eighteen. He also studied conducting with Felix Mottl. He became a famous composer, and had close associations with such leading intelectuals as painters Nikolai Kulbin and Wassily Kandinsky. He briefly lived in Munich together with his wife Olga, where they first developed an interest towards esotericism.
De Hartmann met Gurdjieff in 1916 in St. Petersburg when he was undergoing military duty, being stationed at Tsarskoye Selo. He and his wife followed him during his trip across the Caucasus Mountains in 1918, his stay in Tbilisi, and his subsequent emigration via Constantinople to Paris, and remained his pupils until his death in 1949.
Together with his wife Olga, he wrote the book “Our Life with Mr. Gurdjieff”. He participated in Gurdjieff’s ‘Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man’ at Fontainebleau-Avon in France, where he transcribed for piano over 300 pieces of music which Gurdjieff collected or composed ad used for his movements exercises. In 1950 Thomas de Hartmann moved to New York City, where he died on 28 March, 1956.