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Boris Khaikin

Boris Khaikin studied at the Moscow Conservatory, where his teachers included Alexandre Gedike for piano, and Nikolai Malko and Konstantin Saradjev for conducting. After graduating in 1928 he was engaged as conductor at the Stanislavsky and and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre. During Stanislavsky’s last years (he died in 1938) one of his principal interests was the perfection of his acting method and its use in opera: he thus exerted a considerable influence upon Khaikin, who during this period prepared productions of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Bizet’s Carmen at the theatre. Following the appointment of Samuel Samosud as chief conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Khaikin took over from him as chief conductor at the Maly Theatre in Leningrad in 1936, remaining in this post until 1943. At the Maly Khaikin was an active proponent of Soviet art, conducting the first performance of Dmitri Kabalevsky’s opera Colas Breugnon and the first Leningrad performance of Dzerzhinsky’s Virgin Soil Upturned, which was inspired by the contemporary novel by Mikhail Sholokhov. He also conducted notable productions of Russian works composed before the Revolution by Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky.



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