Alexander Borisovich Khessin (Khessin, Alexander) |

Alexander Borisovich Khessin (Khessin, Alexander) |

Hessin, Alexander

Date of birth
Date of death
conductor, teacher
Russia, USSR

Alexander Borisovich Khessin (Khessin, Alexander) |

“I devoted myself to music on the advice of Tchaikovsky, and became a conductor thanks to Nikish,” Hessin admitted. In his youth, he studied at the law faculty of St. Petersburg University, and only a meeting with Tchaikovsky in 1892 decided his fate. Since 1897, Hessin took a course of practical composition at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 1895, there was another meeting that played a decisive role in the creative life of the musician – in London, he met Arthur Nikisch; four years later, classes began under the guidance of a brilliant conductor. Hessin’s performances in St. Petersburg and Moscow attracted public attention, but after the events of 1905 and the artist’s statements in defense of Rimsky-Korsakov, he had to limit his concert activity to the provinces for a long time.

In 1910, Hessin headed the Musical-Historical Society, created at the expense of the philanthropist Count A. D. Sheremetev. Concerts of the symphony orchestra under the direction of Hessin included various works of Russian and foreign classics. And on foreign tours, the conductor promoted domestic music. So, in 1911, for the first time in Berlin, he conducted Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy. From 1915 Hessin staged several operas at the Petersburg People’s House.

After the October Revolution, the famous musician focused on teaching. In the 1935s, he worked with young people at the State Institute of Theatrical Art, at the A.K. Glazunov Music College, and before the Great Patriotic War (since 1941) he headed the Opera Studio of the Moscow Conservatory. During the years of the evacuation, Khessin headed the department of opera training at the Ural Conservatory (1943-1944). He also worked fruitfully as musical director of the WTO Soviet Opera Ensemble (1953-XNUMX). Many operas by Soviet composers were performed by this group: “The Sevastopolites” by M. Koval, “Foma Gordeev” by A. Kasyanov, “The Hostess of the Hotel” by A. Spadavekkia, “War and Peace” by S. Prokofiev and others.

Lit .: Hessin A. From memories. M., 1959.

L. Grigoriev, J. Platek

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