Nikolai Malko

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Mal’ko, Nikolai Andreevich


Born Apr. 22 (May 4), 1883, in Brailov, present-day Vinnitsa Oblast; died June 23, 1961, in Sydney, Australia. Russian conductor.

In 1908, Mal’ko graduated from N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov’s composition class and N. N. Cherepnin’s conducting class at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Later he completed his training under F. Mottl in Munich. From 1909 to 1918, Mal’ko served as conductor of the Mariinskii Theater (present-day S. M. Kirov Leningrad Theater of Opera and Ballet). From 1918 to 1920 he was the chief conductor of the symphony orchestra and director at the People’s Conservatory in Vitebsk. From 1922 to 1924 he was a professor at conservatories in Moscow, Kharkov, and Kiev. From 1925 to 1928, Mal’ko served as chief conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic and was a professor at the Leningrad Conservatory.

Many Soviet conductors were students of Mal’ko. It was under his direction that D. D. Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1 was first performed, in 1926 (Leningrad). In 1928, Mal’ko settled abroad. From 1956 to 1961 he was conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In 1959 he performed in the USSR.


“Vospominaniia o Rimskom-Korsakove.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1958, no. 8.
Osnovy tekhniki dirizhirovaniia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965. (Translated from English.)


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The distinguished Austrian conductor, Maestro Ralf Weikert won important honours early on in his career, including First Prize at the 1965 Nicolai Malko Competition in Copenhagen, soon followed by the Mozart Interpretation Prize awarded by the Austrian Minister of Culture.
But he stayed too long, lacked charisma to the audience and when the world class star arrived, the Russian Nicolai Malko, it was too late to save the enterprise.