Alexander Lazarevich Lokshin (1920-1987) is one of the most talented and original composers of the
20th century. Having remained aloof from the confrontation between the various musical trends, which
had erupted so acutely in the musical life of the former Soviet Union during the 1960s and 1970s – the
rivalry between the radically avant-garde and the traditional-national trends, the composer was able to
create his individual style, in which a contemporary musical language is combined with a foundation on
traditions of the high art of the past. Emotional saturation, melodic abundance, harmonical and timbral
expressivity, a compositionally-dramaturgical plasticity and freedom, as well as a structural unity –
these are all qualities, due to which the music of Lokshin authoritatively attracts the listener to itself and
could be recognized and remembered.
Of the great conductors of our time, Rudolf Barshai is surely the one most closely associated with the contemporary composers whose music he conducts. He studied composition with Shostakovich discussed orchestration with Prokofiev, and established himself as a forceful advocate of the music of
Alexander Lokshin. In 1955 Barshai has founded the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. It was he who first
acquainted Russian audiences with Shostakovich’s Fourteenth Symphony, Weinberg’s Symphony No.
7 in C major for strings and harpsichord, Music for chamber orchestra of Sviridov.