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.

REFERENCES

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

G. IA. IUDIN