Alexei Gorokhov

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Aleksey Gorokhov
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Aleksey Gorokhov in a promotional shot, circa. 1950
Background information
Born (1927-02-11)February 11, 1927
Origin Moscow, Russia
Died February 3, 1999(1999-02-03)
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Violinist, Conductor, Professor
Instruments Violin

Aleksey Nikolaevich Gorokhov (Russian: Алексей Николаевич Горохов; Ukrainian: Олексій Миколайович Горохов; February 11, 1927, Moscow - February 3, 1999) was a Soviet violinist who lived most of his life in Ukraine.

Many Ukrainian violinists are either his pupils or pupils of his pupils.[1]

Biography[edit]

Aleksey Gorokhov studied at the Central Music School attached to the Moscow Conservatory between 1934 and 1944. At the Conservatory he studied in the class of Professor L.M. Tzeytlin, graduating in 1949. In 1955 he finished Post-Graduate study under the instruction of Professor A. I. Yampolsky. He was a contemporary of Rudolf Barshai who also studied there under Tzeytlin and Yampolsky. In addition to his violin studies he received a degree in Musicology.

Achieving prizes at several international violin competitions he toured extensively in the Soviet Union as well as in Germany, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, Portugal and Korea. Between 1949 and 1951 Gorokhov took part in several International Violin Competitions, among them the Bach Competition in Leipzig in 1950 where he was awarded 2nd prize, and the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels in 1951 where he was awarded 7th Prize.

In 1957 he became a professor of the violin at the Kiev Conservatory (later renamed Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music) and taught there until his death.

Gorokhov lived a simple, humble life. One of the primary factors in his decision to move to Kiev in 1956 was a disinterest[citation needed] in the politics of his Russian homeland. This may partly explain why, apart from being declared an "Honored Artist Worker of Ukraine", he was never given real status in either country.

Had he stayed in Russia, he may have become as well known a violinist as Leonid Kogan or David Oistrakh.

In Kiev, former students of Gorokhov carry on his tasteful, intimate tradition of playing.

Discography[edit]

Notable works[edit]

During 50 years of creative work Gorokhov recorded a great number of disks, being the 1st person in the Soviet Union to record the 6 Paganini Violin Concertos, only the 2nd recording after Salvatore Accardo's in the world.

To Ukrainian Radio he left over 70 hours of recorded music, including Bach's Sonatas and Partitas, Paganini's 24 Caprices, 24 preludes by Shostakovich (Gorokhov's own arrangement), Violin Concertos by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and many others.

To mark Gorokhov's 70th Birthday he performed once again the 6 Paganini Concertos within 2 days. The Concertos were presented in an original orchestration by Gorokhov, which most completely embodied the criteria of Paganini's virtuoso-romantic aesthetics in orchestra. This arrangement is intended for a string orchestra with solo instruments besides the solo violin such as: guitar, viola and double bass, making Gorokhov's orchestration unique.

His recordings of the Concertos recorded with the Ukrainian National Opera Theatre Orchestra between 1973 and 1978, were digitally remastered and re-released in 2006.[2]

Gorokhov's 1952 recording of Édouard Lalo's Spanish symphony with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kyrill Kondrashin is also notable.

Quotations about Gorokhov[edit]

Gorokhov's playing received high praise from a number of prominent contemporary musicians including Pierre Fournier, Jacques Thibaud, Joseph Szigeti, David Oistrakh and others.

"...The sound reminds one of the best time of Kreisler...the beauty of the 'piano' and 'pianissimo' is extraordinary..." - from Fournier's letter to Gorokhov.
"...Gorokhov's playing cast a spell on me..." - Jacques Thibaut.
"...There were very positive references...[made to] the nobility and tasteful playing of A. Gorokhov" - from 'A conversation with D. Oistrakh' in 'Novoye Vremia' magazine.
"...Listeners were struck...by the noble simplicity and modesty in conjunction with perfect playing skill, which was typical to A. Gorokhov..." - Alexander Svechnikov, 'Sovietskoye Iskustvo' magazine.
"...There are 2 great violin players whose sound is unmistakable and will stay in history - they are Kreisler and Gorokhov." - Abram Shtern.

Trivia[edit]

Aleksey Gorokhov has erroneously been referred to as 'Alexander Gorokhov' on a CD release by Yedang Entertainment, leading some websites and music vendors to list him under the wrong name.[3]

References[edit]