Konstantin Arsenevich Simeonov (Konstantin Simeonov) |

Konstantin Arsenevich Simeonov (Konstantin Simeonov) |

Konstantin Simeonov

Date of birth
Date of death
the USSR

Konstantin Arsenevich Simeonov (Konstantin Simeonov) |

People’s Artist of the USSR (1962). A difficult fate befell this musician. From the first days of the Great Patriotic War, Simeonov, with weapons in his hands, stood up for the defense of the Motherland. After a severe concussion, he was taken prisoner by the Nazis. Terrible tests had to be transferred to the prisoner of camp No. 318 in the Silesian Basin. But in January 1945, he managed to escape …

Yes, the war tore him away from music for many years, to which he decided to devote his life as a child. Simeonov was born in the Kalinin region (former Tver province) and began to study music in his native village of Kaznakovo. From 1918 he studied and sang at the Leningrad Academic Choir under the direction of M. Klimov. Having gained experience, Simeonov became an assistant to M. Klimov as a choral conductor (1928-1931). After that, he entered the Leningrad Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1936. His teachers are S. Yeltsin, A. Gauk, I. Musin. Before the war, he had a chance to work for a short time in Petrozavodsk, and then lead the orchestra of the Byelorussian SSR in Minsk.

And then – the hard trials of the war years. But the will of the musician is not broken. Already in 1946, the conductor of the Kyiv Opera and Ballet Theater Simeonov won the first prize at the All-Union Review of Young Conductors in Leningrad. Even then A. Gauk wrote: “K. Simeonov attracted the sympathy of the audience with his modest demeanor, alien to any pose or drawing, which conductors often sin. The passion and romantic richness of the young musician’s performance, the wide scope of the emotions conveyed by him, the strong-willed impulse from the very first strokes of the conductor’s baton carry away both the orchestra and the audience. Simeonov as a conductor and interpreter is distinguished by a genuine sense of music, an understanding of the composer’s musical intention. This is happily combined with the ability to convey the very form of a musical work, to “read” it in a new way. These features have evolved over the years, bringing the conductor significant creative achievements. Simeonov toured a lot in the cities of the Soviet Union, expanding his repertoire, which now includes the largest creations of world classics and contemporary music.

In the early 60s, Simeonov shifted the center of gravity in his activities from the concert stage to the theater stage. As chief conductor of the Taras Shevchenko Opera and Ballet Theater in Kyiv (1961-1966), he performed a number of interesting opera productions. Among them stand out “Khovanshchina” by Mussorgsky and “Katerina Izmailova” by D. Shostakovich. (The music of the latter was recorded by the orchestra conducted by Simeonov and in the film of the same name.)

The conductor’s foreign performances were successfully held in Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece and other countries. Since 1967, Simeonov has been the chief conductor of the Leningrad Academic Opera and Ballet Theater named after S. M. Kirov.

L. Grigoriev, J. Platek, 1969

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