Arthur Nikisch

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Nikisch, Arthur


Born Oct. 12, 1855, in Lébényi Szant Miklos; died Jan. 23, 1922, in Leipzig. Hungarian conductor and teacher.

From 1866 to 1873, Nikisch studied at the Conservatory in Vienna. Between 1874 and 1877 he played violin in the Vienna court orchestra. In 1878 he became the assistant conductor of the Leipzig Opera. He was the opera’s principal conductor from to 1882 to 1889 and its director in 1905 and 1906. Nikisch conducted some of the world’s major orchestras, including the Boston Symphony (1889–93), the Leipzig Gewandhaus (1895–1922), and the Berlin Philharmonic (1895–1922). With the last orchestra he frequently toured Western European and American cities, as well as St. Petersburg and Moscow (for the first time in 1899). From 1893 to 1895 he was the principal conductor and director of the Budapest Opera; and in 1897 he conducted the symphonic orchestra in Hamburg. Between 1902 and 1907, Nikisch was head of the teaching section and the conducting course at the Leipzig Conservatory, where his pupils included the Soviet conductors K. S. Saradzhev and A. B. Khessin.

Nikisch, a major representative of the romantic tradition of conducting, was an inspired artist who, while outwardly restrained, possessed unusual power over the orchestra. He popularized the music of P. I. Tchaikovsky, which occupied a special place in his repertoire. He also performed works by German romantic composers and contemporary German composers, including A. Bruckner, G. Mahler, and R. Strauss. He wrote a number of musical compositions.


Lipaev, I. V. Artur Nikish, dirizher orkestra. Moscow-Leipzig [1903].
Kuper, E. A. Pamiati Artura Nikisha. Petrograd, 1922.


References in periodicals archive ?
Holden anoints Richard Wagner as the Zukunftdirigent who blazed the trail for these nine to follow: Hans von Bulow, Arthur Nikisch, Gustav Mahler, Felix Wein-gartner, Richard Strauss, Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Wilhelm Furtwangler, and Herbert von Karajan.
The other rivalry to which MacDowell alludes is between Arthur Nikisch and Walter Damrosch.
It was primarily as an opera conductor that Reiner's career began in Laibach (now Ljubljana), in Budapest, and at the Saxon State Opera in Dresden, where he was greatly influenced in his conducting style by Arthur Nikisch and Richard Strauss.
His orchestral works were actively championed by Arthur Nikisch, Carl Muck, Pierre Monteux, Walter Damrosch, Nikolai Sokoloff, Serge Koussevitzky, Frederick Stock, Howard Hanson, and Leopold Stokowski, and also received performances at the hands of Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Bruno Walter, and Fritz Reiner.
Butterworth had intended to conduct the premiere, but seems to have gotten cold feet and left it in the hands of Arthur Nikisch, who made a formidable impression on the composer.
The legendary Arthur Schnabel championed his piano music; Arthur Nikisch, Bruno Walter and Otto Klemperer conducted his orchestral music and stage works; and leading international signers such as Maria Jeritza, Lotte Lehmann and Elisabeth Schumann vied with each other for starring roles in his operas.
Three of the last century's greatest conductors - Arthur Nikisch, Wilhelm Furtwangler and Herbert von Karajan - secured their reputations with the ensemble, which has been instrumental in preserving and polishing the musical legacy we call the standard repertory.
He listened to recordings, read biographies and other books on conductors, and considered reviews of performances for his discussion, which begins with Wagner himself, then chronologically treats his pupils Hermann Levi, Felix Mottl, and Karl Muck, and Viennese, American, German, and Russian conductors Arthur Nikisch, Albert Coates, Gustav Mahler, Felix Weingartner, Bruno Walter, Arturo Toscanini, Artur Bodanzky, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Fritz Busch, Erich Kleiber, Hans Knappertsbusch, Clemens Krauss, Karl Bohm, Richard Strauss, Otto Klemperer, and Fritz Reiner.
They were lucky to haveHans Richter and Arthur Nikisch during their first 10 years,but thereafter there were ups and downs.