Boris Khaikin

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Khaikin, Boris Emmanuilovich


Born Oct. 13, (26), 1904, in Minsk; died May 10, 1978, in Moscow. Soviet conductor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1972). Member of the CPSU from 1940.

In 1928, Khaikin graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied piano with A. F. Gedike and conducting with K. S. Saradzhev. From 1928 to 1935 he conducted at Moscow’s K. S. Stanislavsky Opera Theater, where he became music director in 1933 and principal conductor in 1935. He was artistic director and principal conductor of the Malyi Opera Theater in Leningrad from 1936 to 1943 and of the S. M. Kirov Leningrad Theater of Opera and Ballet from 1944 to 1953; he began conducting at the Bolshoi Theater in 1954.

Khaikin was noted for his consummate artistry, his dynamism, and his ability to subtly highlight the various strands of a musical score. He staged such operas as Dzerzhinskii’s Virgin Soil Upturned (1937), Kabalevskii’s Colas Breugnon (1938), Khodzha-Einatov’s The Rebellion (1938), Mussorgsky’s Boris Godu-nov (1939 and 1949), Tchaikovsky’s lolanthe (1943) and The Maid of Orleans (1945), Prokofiev’s The Betrothal in the Convent (Duenna; 1946), Kabalevskii’s Taras’ Family (1950), Shaporin’s The Decembrists (1953), Auber’s Fra Diavolo (1955), Khrennikov’s Mother (1957), Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman (1963), and Molchanov’s The Unknown Soldier (1967). Khaikin also performed as a symphonic conductor.

Khaikin became a professor at the Leningrad Conservatory in 1935 and at the Moscow Conservatory in 1954. He toured abroad and staged productions in Italy and the German Democratic Republic. Khaikin received the State Prize of the USSR twice in 1946 and once in 1951; he was also awarded the Order of the October Revolution, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.