Sol Hurok, 2024


Sol Hurok, 2024

This Week in Classical Music: April 8, 2024.  Sol Hurok, Impresario.  He was neither a musician nor a composer, however Sol Hurok did for classical music in America greater than nearly any Sol Hurokdifferent individual we will consider.  Hurok was born Solomon Gurkov on April 9th of 1888 in Zarist Russia and moved to New York in 1906.  A pure organizer, he began with left-wing politics in Brooklyn; that didn’t final lengthy as he switched to representing musicians: Efrem Zimbalist and Mischa Elman, the proficient violinists who additionally emigrated from Russia, have been amongst his first purchasers.  He represented the Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin for a number of years (he additionally labored with Nellie Melba and Titta Ruffo).  He then turned to bounce: Anna Pavlova, Isadora Duncan, and Michel Fokine turned his purchasers, in addition to the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.  In 1942, he organized one of many first excursions of the American Ballet Theatre. 

Hurok represented Marian Anderson when working with black singers was not a preferred enterprise; he helped to prepare Anderson’s well-known live performance on the Lincoln Memorial, which was broadcast nationwide and made her a family identify.  Amongst Hurok’s longest associations have been these with Arthur Rubinstein and Isaac Stern.  The checklist of Hurok’s purchasers learn as Who-is-Who in American Music: he labored with the cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, violinists Nathan Milstein and Efrem Zimbalist, and later represented the youthful stars, Van Cliburn, Jacqueline du Pré, Itzhak Perlman, and Pinchas Zukerman.

For a few years Hurok tried to deliver Soviet artists to America.  It turned potential solely after Stalin’s loss of life.  The pianists Emil Gilels and violinist David Oistrakh got here first, in 1955, then, later, such luminaries as Sviatoslav Richter, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Leonid Kogan and Mstislav Rostropovich.  Hurok additionally represented the singers Galina Vishnevskaya and Irina Arkhipova and conductors Kiril Kondrashin and Yevgeny Svetlanov.  A few of Hurok’s best coups have been achieved with the ballet corporations: the Bolshoi tour in 1959 was a sensational success, and so was Kirov’s, which Hurok introduced in 1961.

Sol Hurok died in New York on March 5th of 1974.

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