Biography of Arthur Nikisch (1855-1922)

Hungarian conductor. He was a disciple of J. Hellmersberger (violin) and F. Dessoff (composition) at the Vienna Conservatory. In 1874 he was appointed first violin at the imperial Opera in Vienna, where he played under the direction of Brahms, Liszt, Verdi and Wagner. Four years later launched a dazzling career as a conductor, to be admired in all major capitals in Europe and America. After being second director in Leipzig (1878), he was head of the Orchestra of Boston (1889), Budapest (1893), the Berlin Philharmonic and concerts of the Gewanshaus of Leipzig (1895), the concerts of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Hamburg (1897), conducted studies of the Leipzig Conservatory (between 1902-1907) and in 1921 took charge of the Symphony of Buenos Aires concerts.

Tchaikoswki wrote a vivid description of the director, whose characteristics made him become the ideal companion for soloists in his memoirs. Before him, there was a representation two concertos for solo instrument and a single, which he limited to a single only. While the programs were covered with classical composers, Nikisch was open to new ideas, and so, Bruckner, Brahms, Liszt, Wagner and, subsequently, R. Strauss and Mahler were part of their lists. It was also especially gifted for Slavic, standing out in the Fifth Symphony of Tchaikowski music.


Marc Honegger. Dictionary of music. (Madrid: Espasa Calpe, Second Edition., 1993).

History of classical music. (Madrid: Planeta, 1983).