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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Svetlanov, Evgeny

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Evgeny Svetlanov (1928 - 2002)


The Russian conductor Evgeny Svetlanov was a major figure in the world of Soviet music, which he outlived by thirteen years. He was born in Moscow in 1928 into a theatrical family. His parents were both members of the company of the Bolshoi Theatre, the home of opera and ballet in the capital, his father as a singer and his mother as a mime artist. Some of his earliest memories were of appearing on the stage of this great theatre: ‘I made my first appearance on the Bolshoi stage at the age of three as the son of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Then I sang in the children’s choir of the Bolshoi.’ He entered the Gnessin Institute for musically gifted children, where he studied composition with Mikhail Gnessin himself and piano with Mariya Gurvich, a pupil of the composer and pianist Nikolai Medtner, of whose music Svetlanov was to become a distinguished interpreter. In 1951 he graduated from the Institute and progressed to the Moscow Conservatory, where he continued to study the piano with Heinrich Neuhaus, whose most famous pupil was Sviatoslav Richter. Svetlanov later cited Neuhaus as a major influence, who taught him to think of the piano in orchestral terms. In addition he studied composition with Yuri Shaporin as well as conducting with Alexander Gauk.

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Petrenko: Complete Shostakovich Symphonies



 

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