Suk, Viacheslav Ivanovich
(also Váša Suk). Born Nov. 4 (16), 1861, in Kladno, Czechoslovakia; died Jan. 12, 1933, in Moscow. Soviet conductor. People’s Artist of the Republic (1925).
In 1879, Suk graduated from the Prague Conservatory, where he studied the violin. In 1880 he moved to Russia. He was con-certmaster in the private opera house of I. Ia. Setov in Kiev from 1880 to 1882 and in the orchestra of the Bolshoi Theater from 1882 to 1885. From 1885 to 1906 he served as conductor in private opera companies. From 1906 to 1933 he was conductor of the Bolshoi Theater, where he supervised nearly all major productions of Russian and Western European operas. Possessed of a strong temperament and a profound knowledge of musical drama, Suk did much for the development of Soviet music as director of the opera company of the Bolshoi Theater. Besides his work in the Bolshoi Theater, in 1924 and 1925 he directed the music department of the K. S. Stanislavsky Opera Studio and from 1927 was principal conductor of the K. S. Stanislavsky Opera Theater.
Suk was also an outstanding conductor of symphonic music. From 1886 to 1889 he conducted concerts at a local branch of the Russian Society of Music in Taganrog. He conducted summer concerts in Sestroretsk between 1905 and 1914 and concerts of symphonic music in Moscow’s Sokol’niki Park between 1915 and 1917. From 1926 to 1929, Suk was conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1924 and 1925 he was a professor of the orchestra class at the Moscow Conservatory.
Suk played a great role in the development of Soviet music. A versatile composer, he wrote the opera The Forest King (1900, Kharkov), symphonic and chamber works, and romances.