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Nikolai Malko

Nikolai Malko studied philology at St Petersburg University; and composition with Rimsky-Korsakov, Lyadov and Glazunov, as well as conducting with Tcherepnin, at the St Petersburg Conservatory; followed by further study with Lysenko in Kiev and Mottl in Munich. On returning to St Petersburg he was engaged as a conductor at the city’s opera house, initially of ballet and later of opera. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, he took an active part in the musical life of the early Soviet regime: he held a professorship at the Moscow Conservatory from 1918 to 1925, and between 1921 and 1924 he shuttled between Vitebsk, Moscow, Kiev and Kharkov, conducting in each city. He became a professor at the Leningrad Conservatory from 1925, and was soon appointed as chief conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in 1926; a private conducting pupil at this time was a future conductor of this orchestra, Evgeny Mravinsky. A supporter of contemporary Russian music of the period, Malko conducted the first performances of Myaskovsky’s Symphony No. 5 (Moscow, 1920) and of Shostakovich’s Symphonies Nos 1 and 2 (Leningrad, 1926, 1927).




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