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An Unknown Genius: The Symphonist Alexander Lokshin

Alexander Lazarevich Lokshin was born in Bijsk, a city located on the northern edge of the Central Asian Altai Mountain Range, on 19 September 1920. Following successful training as a pianist in his home town, he continued his studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, completing them in 1941 as a pupil of Nikolai Miaskovsky and Heinrich Litinski in composition. Following the completion of his service in the war, the 24-year-old musician was engaged at the Moscow Conservatory as a teacher of orchestration. Lokshin was active as a free-lance composer from 1949 until his death in 1987. Alongside numerous songs and choruses, film and stage music, the following works were composed: 11 symphonies, a Piano Concerto, a Hungarian Fantasy for violin and orchestra, Dramatic Overture for orchestra, Three Scenes from "Faust" for soprano and orchestra and several chamber works, including the Clarinet Quintet, String Quintet, Violin Sonata and Piano Variations.

In his series "studia slavica musicologia," edited in exemplary fashion, the Berlin publisher Ernst Kuhn has now realised the first German language publication on Lokshin. At the centre of the presentation is, however, the symphonist, approached from different viewpoints by the Hamburg musicologists Marina Lobanova, Irena Lavrentyeva, Yevgenia Chigaryova and Tayan Gellis. Alfred Schnittke wrote an essay on Lokshin in 1974 entitled "An Individual Musical World, In Which Everything Is Natural." This essay has found its way into print in this volume, along with texts by Boris Tishchenko and renowned interpreters (including Rudolf Barshai, Mark Lubotsky and Vladimir Ponkin). Moreover, the selected documentation of some ideologically motivated attacks against Lokshin have a high documentary value. These include "Lokshin Has Not Yet Taken the Central Committee's Substantial Hints to Heart" (1949) by Paval Apostolov, "Lokshin's Artistic Duplicates Do Not Correspond to Our Reality" (1949) by Tikhon Khrennikov and "Lokshin's Greeting Cantata Missed the High Aesthetic Mark of this Exalted Subject" (1950) by Marian Koval.

Information concerning the book:

Marina Lobanova / Ernst Kuhn (ed.):

An Unknown Genius: The Symphonist Alexander Lokshin

studia slavica musicologica ssm 26. - Verlag Ernst Kuhn, 2002

ISBN 3-928864-85-8