NIKITA KOSHKIN (b 1956 )
Nikita Koshkin first appeared on the International concert scene in 1980 with the performance of The Prince’s Toys Suite by Vladimir Mikulka at the Cannington Festival in England, organized and directed by John W. Duarte. Without question it was Duarte’s indefatigable efforts in the promotion of this remarkable piece that brought it to the attention of guitarists. First published in the Soviet Union in 1981, it has been subsequently published anew in Japan, and more recently in France. The story line, obviously based on an old nursery rhyme, is clearly annunciated in the titles of the several segments. This is programmatic music at its best, drawing its inspiration, one suspects, from earlier Russian masterpieces such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and Swan Lake ballets and other Russian compositions dealing with children’s fantasies. The musical language itself, though, is unique and unprecedented in the guitar repertoire, particularly through the means of revolutionary technical devices invented by the composer.