Chaikin Nikolai (1915 - 2000)

N. Y. Chaikin was born in Kharkov on 15th of February 1915 to a family of office workers.
It was from his father that Nikolai inherited his love for music. While studying at the music school, Chaikin took part in the Kharkov Radio Orchestra of Folk Instruments. N. Chaikin followed the higher musical education at the Kiev Conservatoire where he followed composition under L. N. Revutsky, B. S. Kosenko and B. N. Lyatoshinsky. He studied piano under A. N. Lufer. In 1940 he graduated as composer / pianist.

During war Chaikin wrote more than two hundred instrumentations, arrangements and transcriptions of works from Russian and foreign composers. He is known especially for the bayan repertoire worked out through his carreer. The sonata in Bminor for bayan in four movements appeared in the period 1943-1944. and was written in assistance of N. Rizol, organiser and member of the Kiev Philharmonic Bayan Quartet. This sonata demonstrated the bayan's abilities in full diversity and therefor was very important in the history of bayan art. The magnitude, complexity and depth of vision, shown in this sonata had never been seen before. 

The new method of presenting musical material for the accordeonmusic is one of the most important achievements of Chaikin. If the diversity was typical for works written before the mid-sixties, later works were characterised by the use of medium and high registers and the almost complete absence of doubling. The visions of chaikin were a bright page in the history of bayan and contributed to the approval of the bayan as a solo-instrument in the symphonic stage. Chaikins work was one of the important factors in the formation of large-scale thinking artists and their inclusion of the bayan in sonatas, concertos and suites. Appearing at the dawn of the Russian academic art, Chaikin had a significant influence on the formation of a professional bayan performing art, and he contributed to the development of many genres of music in which the bayan performance was further professionalised.

After the war, Chaikin resided in Moskow, serving as the music editor in the publishing house. In 1951 he started as instructor at the Moscow Gnesis  Pedagogical Institute. From 1964 on he was on the staff of the Gorky Conservatory, he was professor there since 1972. Numerous executants, laureats of mostly prestigious local and international competitions, so as many talented teachers were brought up by him.

Since 1944 Chaikin was a member of the USSR Composers Union and besides his work at the conservatory, he worked impetuously as a composer. He exchanged letters with musicians all over the world and he wrote works on the vital questions of accordion education. Scientific practical conferences in his country and abroad were seldom held without him. One of his scientific archievements was the new position of the right hand to five fingers. 

The composer has been elected thrice the vice-president of the International Accordionists Confederation. His versatile creative activity has been recognised all over the world. His accordion compositions constitute a pivotal chapter in the history of the instrument's music. The Ukrainian Suite was a compulsatory item on the page of the "Worldcup" competition held in Brugge, Belgium, 1971.

Chaikin died in Moscow on  February 17th 2000, two days after his 85th birthday.
Source: Accordions worldwide;; Handbook accordionist, author A. P. Basurmanov


1944 Bayan Sonata no 1
1951 Concerto for bayan and orchestra no 1
1960 The great teacher Oratio
1961 Ukrainian Rhapsody for bayan trio
1964 Bayan sonato no 2
1964 Concert Suite
1969 Children's Album
1972 Concerto for bayan and orchestra no 2
1972 Ukrainian Suite
Passacaglia, Burlesque, Capriccio, Fantasy on two Siberian themes, Concert Tryptich

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