Aleksandr Gauk

(redirected from Alexander Gauk)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gauk, Aleksandr Vasil’evich


Born Aug. 3 (15), 1893, in Odessa; died Mar. 30, 1963, in Moscow. Soviet conductor and teacher. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1954).

In 1917, Gauk graduated from the Petrograd Conservatory, where he studied conducting with N. N. Cherepnin. His piano teacher was E. F. Daugovet; he studied composition with V. P. Kalafati, la. Vitola, and A. K. Glazunov. His conducting career began in 1917. During 1920-31 at the S. M. Kirov Theater of Opera and Ballet, Gauk conducted the ballets Seasons of the Year by Glazunov, Pulcinella by Stravinsky, and The Red Poppy by Glière. From 1930 to 1933 he was art director and chief conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra and from 1936 to 1941 chief conductor of the State Symphony Orchestra of the USSR. During 1933-36 he was conductor and during 1953-63 chief conductor and art director of the Bol’shoi Symphony Orchestra of the All-Union Radio. Under Gauk’s direction many works by Soviet composers were played for the first time. During 1927-33 and 1946-48 he taught at the Leningrad Conservatory, during 1941-43 at the Tbilisi Conservatory, and during 1939-63 at the Moscow Conservatory. (He became a professor there in 1948.) Gauk’s pupils include E. A. Mravinskii, A. Sh. Melik-Pashaev, and E. F. Svetlanov.


“Pamiati A. V. Gauka.” Sovetskaia Muzyka, 1963, no. 9.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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There have been several different orchestral versions scored by later composers, and Alexander Gauk's effort perhaps best preserves the casual, incidental but pensive mood of the music.
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