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Malko, Nicolai (actually, Nikolai Andreievich)

Malko, Nicolai (actually, Nikolai Andreievich)

Malko, Nicolai (actually, Nikolai Andreievich), eminent Russian-born American conductor and teacher; b. Brailov, May 4, 1883; d. Sydney, Australia, June 23, 1961. He went to St. Petersburg to study philology at the Univ. (graduated, 1906), composition and orchestration with Rimsky- Korsakov, Liadov, and Glazunov, and conducting with N. Tcherepnin at the Cons. After completing his training in conducting with Motti in Munich, he returned to St. Petersburg in 1908 to commence his conducting career. He subsequently appeared as a conductor in the major Russian music centers, and also was a prof. at the Moscow Cons. (1918–25) and the Leningrad Cons. (1925–28). From 1926 to 1928 he was chief conductor of the Leningrad Phil., with which he programmed many new works by Soviet composers. He then left Russia and was active as a guest conductor in Vienna, Prague, Buenos Aires, and Copenhagen. From 1928 to 1932 he was permanent guest conductor of the Danish State Radio Sym. Orch. in Copenhagen. He also was active as a teacher there, the King of Denmark being one of his students. In 1933 he made his London debut conducting the orch. of the Royal Phil. Soc. From 1938 he appeared as a guest conductor in the U.S. In 1946 he became a naturalized American citizen. In 1954–55 he was conductor of the Yorkshire Sym. Orch. In 1956 he became conductor of the Sydney Sym. Orch. He publ, the manual The Conductor and His Baton(1950; new ed., 1975, by E. Green as The Conductor and His Score; 2nd ed., 1985, as The Conductor’s Score), and the memoir A Certain Art(1966). The Danish Radio sponsors a triennial international conducting competition in his memory. While Malko was particularly admired for his idiomatic readings of the Russian repertoire, he also acquitted himself well in the Viennese classics.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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