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Samuel Samosud


Samosud studied the cello at the Tiflis Conservatory, graduating in 1906. It has been suggested that he then spent several years in Paris studying the cello with Pablo Casals, composition with Vincent d’Indy and conducting with Édouard Colonne: certainly he was a cellist in several symphony orchestras in St Petersburg until 1917, when he started to conduct at the Maryinsky Theatre. Following the Russian Revolution and the renaming of the city as Leningrad, he was appointed chief conductor of the Maly Theatre in 1918, retaining this position until 1936. Here he encouraged young Soviet composers, to the extent that the Maly Theatre was known as ‘the laboratory of Soviet opera’. Among the new works given their first performances there by him were Shostakovich’s The Nose, in 1930, and Dzerzhinsky’s And Quiet Flows the Don, in 1935. During this period he also taught conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory.

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