Born Jan. 4 (17), 1917, in Petrograd; died May 8, 1967, in Riga. Soviet conductor. People’s Artist of the Latvian SSR (1962).
Tons graduated from the Latvian Conservatory in 1943, specializing in the double bass. In 1950 he received a degree in conducting, after studying with P. Barison and L. Vīgners. From 1946 to 1948 he was conductor at the Latvian Theater of Musical Comedy, and from 1947 to 1967 he conducted the orchestra of the Latvian Theater of Opera and Ballet, becoming principal conductor in 1954. From 1950 to 1952, Tons conducted the orchestra of the Leningrad Theater of Opera and Ballet, and from 1963 to 1966 he was principal conductor of the Latvian Television and Radio Symphony Orchestra. He taught conducting at the Latvian Conservatory from 1955 to 1960.
Tons conducted symphonies, vocal and chamber works, and operas, including Shostakovich’s Katerina hmailova, Dzerzhinskii’s A Man’s Fate and Prokofiev’s War and Peace, which led to his receiving the State Prize of the Latvian SSR in 1965 for his artistic work. He also conducted performances of Mediņ’s Fire and the Night, Zariņš’ To the New Shore and The Green Mill, Britten’s Peter Grimes, and R. Strauss’ Salome. Tons toured outside the USSR.
Tons was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.
REFERENCESKenigsberg, A. “Edgar Tons.” In the collection Muzykal’noe ispolniltel’stvo [vol.] 6. Moscow, 1970.
Edgar Tons: Vospominaniia, stat’i, materialy. Moscow, 1974.
Jofe, E. “Dirigents Edgars Tons.” In Latviešu mūzika, vol. 6. Riga, 1967.