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Kirill Tikhonov (Music Director)


People’s Artist of Russia and professor Kirill Tikhonov is an outstanding conductor in opera and ballet world. His name is famous not only in the theatre, but also in music circles of our country and abroad. More than fifty years of his life were given to musical scene. His feeling of theatrical essence of opera music was rarely delicate. All leading opera theatres in Russia used the methods of Kirill Tikhonov’s conducting school. He was born in Moscow on the 26th of April in 1921.

In 1947 Kirill Tikhonov graduated from Moscow Conservatory named after P. I. Tchaikovsky, orchestra faculty, and in 1952 graduated from Leningrad conservatory named after N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, symphonic conducting department.

Kirill Tikhonov’s conducting debut took place in Nikolay Okhlopkov’s Moscow theatre of drama in 1945. After that he had been working as conductor in Leningrad theatre of comedy, Perm theatre of opera and ballet named after M. Jalil, Sverdlovsk academic theatre of opera and ballet named after A. Lunacharsky, State academic theatre of opera and ballet of Belarus Republic (Minsk).

It was an honour for the most prestigious theatres to invite maestro Tikhonov to conduct their orchestras. He was a musical director of productions in State academic theatre of opera and ballet of Belarus Republic, Mariinsky theatre in Leningrad. More than 80 operas were produced by him: “Boris Godunov”, “Ivan Susanin”, “Prince Igor”, “The Queen of Spades”, “Eugene Onegin”, “Khovantchina” and others. He conducted all the ballets of P. I. Tchaikovsky, ballets of “Peer Gynt” by E. Grieg, “Zolushka” by S. S. Prokofiev, “The Humpbacked Horse” by R. Shchedrin. People’s artists of USSR Maya Plisetskaya, Natalia Bessmertnova, Maris Liepa, Ekaterina Maksimova and Vladimir Vasiliev were dancing “looking over their shoulders” to his conductor’s baton. Many of Tikhonov’s productions became world or national premieres.

Kirill Tikhonov toured a lot in Russia and abroad, conducted performances in Yugoslavia, Austria, Hungary, USA and Canada.

Since 1977 he had been lecturing at the Moscow State Institute of Culture (nowadays Moscow State University of Culture), where he had received the title of professor.

In 1990 Kirill Tikhonov became the chief conductor and musical director of “Helikon”, a new Moscow musical theatre created together with Dmitry Bertman. Since the very moment of acquaintance with Dmitry Bertman and until death Kirill Tikhonov was his loyal tutor, helper and friend.

At that time orchestra of “Helikon” theatre numbered less than 10 musicians and only the laziest critic didn’t make fun of it. However, in five years Kirill Tikhonov created a full-fledged opera orchestra, inviting highly professional musicians.

23 performances were staged in “Helikon-Opera” under Tikhonov’s musical directorship: “Mavra” by I. Stravinsky, “There and Back” by P. Hindemith, “Maddalena” and “Ugly Duckling” by S. S. Prokofiev, “Rotschield’s Violin” by M. Fleischman, “Keistut and Biruta” by A. Skriabin, “Undine”, “The Queen of Spades”, “Eugene Onegin”, “Mazeppa” by P. I. Tchaikovsky, “L‘enfant prodigue” by C. Debussy, “La Serva Padrona” by G. Pergolesi, “Apollo et Hyacinthus” by W. A. Mozart, “ Pagliacci” by R. Leoncavallo, “Traviata” and “Aida” by G. Verdi, “Carmen” by J. Bizet, “Die Fledermaus” by J. Strauss, “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” by J. Offenbach, “Kaschey the Immortal” and “The Tsar’s Bride” by N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov and many others.

Such conductors as Lev Lyakh, Wolf Gorelik, Eugene Kolobov, Valery Kritskov, Evgeny Brazhnik, Alexander Voloshchuk, Victoria Unguryanu and many others did practical work under the management of Kirill Tikhonov.

Kirill Tikhonov died on the 29th of December in 1998.

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