Karl Eliasberg
Karl Ilitch Eliasberg (Minsk
- Ecological situation :The ecological situation is monitored by Republican Center of Radioactive and Environmental Control .During 2003–2008 the overall weight of contaminants increased from 186,000 to 247,400 tons. The change of gas as industrial fuel to mazut for financial reasons has worsened...

 10 June 1907 - Leningrad
Leningrad is the former name of Saint Petersburg, Russia.Leningrad may also refer to:- Places :* Leningrad Oblast, a federal subject of Russia, around Saint Petersburg* Leningrad, Tajikistan, capital of Muminobod district in Khatlon Province...

 12 Feb 1978) was a Soviet conductor.

Eliasberg graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory as a violinist in 1929, and was conductor of the Leningrad Theatre of Musical Comedy from 1929 to 1931 before joining Leningrad Radio as conductor.

The siege of Leningrad

Eliasberg was conductor of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra and only second conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic but played a part in one key event in society and culture in Saint Petersburg
Society and culture in Saint Petersburg
-Music in St. Petersburg:St. Petersburg has always been known for its high-quality cultural life. Among the city's more than fifty theaters is the world-famous Mariinsky Theater , home to the Mariinsky Ballet company and opera...

 during the siege of Leningrad
Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade was a prolonged military operation resulting from the failure of the German Army Group North to capture Leningrad, now known as Saint Petersburg, in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. It started on 8 September 1941, when the last...

 when Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century....

 dedicated his Seventh Symphony
Symphony No. 7 (Shostakovich)
Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 dedicated to the city of Leningrad was completed on 27 December 1941. In its time, the symphony was extremely popular in both Russia and the West as a symbol of resistance and defiance to Nazi totalitarianism and militarism...

 to the city as the "Leningrad Symphony." The symphony had already been premiered in Kuibyshev
Samara, Russia
Samara , is the sixth largest city in Russia. It is situated in the southeastern part of European Russia at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers. Samara is the administrative center of Samara Oblast. Population: . The metropolitan area of Samara-Tolyatti-Syzran within Samara Oblast...

 on 5 March 1942 under Samuil Samosud
Samuil Samosud
Samuil Abramovich Samosud |Georgia]], — Moscow, 6 November 1964) was a Russian conductor. He started his musical career on the cello, before conducting in the Mariinsky Theater, Petrograd in 1917. From 1918 to 1936 he conducted at the Maly Operny, Leningrad. In 1936 he became musical...

, then performed in Moscow (29 March 1942), London (22 June 1942) and New York (19 July 1942). When Eliasberg was asked to conduct the Leningrad premiere only 15 members of the orchestra were still available; the others had either starved to death or left to fight the enemy. The concert was given on 9 August 1942 in the Lenigrad Bolshoy Philharmonic Hall under the baton of Eliasberg, the second conductor with any people who could be gathered from the main orchestra, the reserve orchestra and military bands, and was heard over the radio and lifted the spirits of the survivors.

Eliasberg was recognised as a Meritorious Artist of the RSFSR 1944, but after the war Yevgeny Mravinsky returned and blocked Eliasberg's career in Leningrad so he became a travelling provincial conductor.

Between 1945 and 1975 Eliasberg headlined in Leningrad only 3 more times - each of them the Seventh Symphony, each of them with the reserve orchestra. In 1961 he conducted the 1st movement only. In 1964, there was a reunion of Eliasberg and 22 of the original musicians before a performance in Shostakovich's presence 27 January 1964 was the first time they had been together in 22 years. The survivors played in their same seats. Eliasberg said the concert was dedicated to those who had performed then but died since, and the audience gave a standing ovation. Eliasberg later wrote:
"Those moments do not come often. I cannot explain the feeling I had. The glory of fame and the grief of loss, and the thought that maybe the brightest moments of your life are gone. The city now lives a peaceful life, but no one has the right to forget the past."

The third time was 9 May 1975 three years before his death.

In 1978 Eliasberg died, almost forgotten, and his ashes were buried in a small plot at the back of the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery. After the fall of Communism, Yuri Temirkanov
Yuri Temirkanov
Yuri Khatuevich Temirkanov is a Russian conductor of Circassian origin.Yuri Temirkanov has been the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic since 1988.-Early life:...

 led a resurrection of Eliasberg's reputation and mayor Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Alexandrovich Sobchak was a Russian politician, a co-author of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the first democratically elected mayor of Saint Petersburg, and a mentor and teacher of both Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev....

 arranged for Eliasberg's ashes to be moved to a more suitable grave among the Literatorskie Mostki at the Volkovo Cemetery
Volkovo Cemetery
The Volkovo Cemetery , is one of the largest and oldest non- Orthodox cemeteries in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Until the early 20th century it was one of the main burial grounds for Lutheran Germans in Russia...



  • Brahms: German Requiem (rec. 1960), Symphony No.3
    Symphony No. 3 (Brahms)
    The Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90, is a symphony written by Johannes Brahms. The work was written in the summer of 1883 at Wiesbaden, nearly six years after he completed his Second Symphony...

     (rec. 1948), Double Concerto
    Double Concerto (Brahms)
    The Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102, by Johannes Brahms is a concerto for violin, cello and orchestra.- Origin of the work :The Double Concerto was Brahms' final work for orchestra. It was composed in the summer of 1887, and first performed on 18 October of that year in the Gürzenich in Köln,...

     (rec. 1951, with David Oistrakh
    David Oistrakh
    David Fyodorovich Oistrakh , , David Fiodorović Ojstrakh, ; – October 24, 1974, was a Soviet violinist....

     and Sviatoslav Knushevitsky
    Sviatoslav Knushevitsky
    Sviatoslav Nikolayevich Knushevitsky was a Russian classical cellist. He was particularly noted for his partnership with the violinist David Oistrakh and the pianist Lev Oborin in a renowned piano trio from 1940 until his death...

  • Mahler: Symphony No.4
    Symphony No. 4 (Mahler)
    The Symphony No. 4 by Gustav Mahler was written between 1899 and 1901, though it incorporates a song originally written in 1892. The song, "Das himmlische Leben", presents a child's vision of Heaven. It is sung by a soprano in the work's fourth and last movement...

     with soprano Natalya Rozhdestvenskaya
    Natalya Rozhdestvenskaya
    Natalya Petrovna Rozhdestvenskaya was a Russian soprano, wife of conductor Nikolai Anosov and mother of Gennady Rozhdestvensky....

     USSR State Symphony Orchestra. Rec. 10/19/54
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7
    Symphony No. 7 (Shostakovich)
    Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 dedicated to the city of Leningrad was completed on 27 December 1941. In its time, the symphony was extremely popular in both Russia and the West as a symbol of resistance and defiance to Nazi totalitarianism and militarism...

     Leningrad Philharmonic. Rec. 1964
  • Sergei Taneyev
    Sergei Taneyev
    Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev , was a Russian composer, pianist, teacher of composition, music theorist and author.-Life:...

    : Symphonies No.1 and No.3
  • J. S. Bach Mass in B minor (live concert recording, April 24, 1957)

In popular culture

The Leningrad Radio Orchestra's performance of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony conducted by Karl Eliasberg is the subject of the 2011 novel The Conductor by Sarah Quigley.
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