Vasily Kalinnikov (1866-1901) has not been one of the most prolific composers in history. In 1892, thanks to Tchaikovsky, Kalinnikov became the main conductor of the Maly Theater, and later that same year of the Moscow Italian Theater, a position he eventually was forced to resign due to his tuberculosis.
With the help of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky’s publisher P. Jurgenson bought three Kalinnikov songs, and later his Symphony No. 2.
But it’s his first symphony that to this day still draws attention: composed in 1894-1895, it reached success when Aleksander Vinogradsky conducted it at a Russian Musical Society concert in Kiev on February 20, 1897.
On November 7, 1943, Arturo Toscanini conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra in a rare broadcast performance of the Kalinnikov ‘s First Symphony, which was recorded but only released years later.
The symphony remains to this day part of the standard repertoire in Russia.