Arthur Nikisch

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1913 came the first complete recording of an orchestral work: Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was released on four disks, both sides recorded, with Arthur Nikisch conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.
A new, proper opera theatre was opened in 1868, with both Arthur Nikisch and a young Gustav Mahler working the podium, but in December, 1943, it was destroyed during Allied bombing.
The reader finds fascinating descriptions of Leichtentritt's hometown, Pleschen, and its inhabitants on the Polish-Russian frontier; the educational system of the old world; Harvard at the end of the nineteenth century, where Leichtentritt spent three years after his family emigrated to the United States; Boston and its musical life, including detailed accounts of concerts by such celebrities as Arthur Nikisch, Ferruccio Busoni, Ignace Jan Paderewski, and Eugen d'Albert, a concert life that the reader can compare to that of the Boston to which Leichtentritt returned in 1933, and to the European capitals Leichtentritt visited when his family moved back to Europe in 1894.
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.
12 performed by the Boston Symphony under the direction of Arthur Nikisch on April 7, 1893.
They were lucky to haveHans Richter and Arthur Nikisch during their first 10 years,but thereafter there were ups and downs.
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.
The first conductor in this book is Wagner himself in the section entitled "Setting the Stage." This is followed by "Wagner's Pupils" (Hans von Bulow, Hans Richter, and Anton Seidl), "Early Bayreuth Masters" (Hermann Levi, Felix Mottl, and Karl Muck), "A Touch of Russia" (Arthur Nikisch and Albert Coates) "Vienna Lights" (Gustav Mahler, Felix Weingartner, and Bruno Walter).
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 sketches remained in the Weber family, untouched until 1887, when Carl von Weber, the composer's grandson, showed them to the young Gustav Mahler, then Arthur Nikisch's assistant at the Leipzig Stadttheater.