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Semyon Bychkov (b1952)

Semyon Bychkov was born in Soviet Russia to a Jewish family: his father was a scientist and his brother is Yakov Kreizberg, himself a conductor of great character. At the age of five Bychkov received his first piano lessons and within a year he was giving public performances. He entered the Glinka Choir School where choral singing and musical studies were combined with the usual academic disciplines. From the age of thirteen he also studied choral conducting (as well as being an enthusiastic volleyball player). His first experience of orchestral conducting came when he was seventeen, and of opera the following year, 1970, when he also entered the Leningrad Conservatory. As soon as he could he joined the conducting class of the legendary teacher Ilya Musin. He gave his first orchestral performance, of Falla’s El sombrero de tres picos, at the Conservatory when nineteen; this was followed by twenty performances of Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin in the Conservatory’s theatre, for which he was paid two roubles fifty kopecks per performance.



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