tue 21/05/2019

theartsdesk Q&A: Impresarios Victor and Lilian Hochhauser, Part 1 | reviews, news & interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Impresarios Victor and Lilian Hochhauser, Part 1

theartsdesk Q&A: Impresarios Victor and Lilian Hochhauser, Part 1

Close-up with the buccaneers who brought the Soviet greats to the UK

'A great great friend': Lilian and Victor Hochhauser flank the great violinist David Oistrakh, as he receives the French Academy Golden Disc

When the words "commercial" and "art" come together - as they do with the Bolshoi season currently at the Royal Opera House - odds are the glue between them is a three-word phrase "Victor Hochhauser presents". Victor and Lilian Hochhauser are the impresarios behind most Russian ballet seasons UK-wide, and they have a reputation for solid box-office commercial taste, which is easily dismissed as the safe option. But they are in their eighties now, and conservatism is forgivable. In younger, bolder, Cold War days,  these cultural buccaneers brought Britain Richter, Oistrakh, Rostropovich, Gilels, Mravinsky, the Borodin Quartet and the UK debut of the Kirov Ballet (the one Nureyev defected from). In fact, without the Hochhausers, British cultural life for the past half-century cannot easily be imagined.

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