The UK’s foremost arts impresarios, Victor and Lilian Hochhauser, are to be honoured for their unique role in promoting Russian culture in Britain for over half a century.
On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Russian Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Mr Yury Fedotov, will present this prestigious award to the Hochhausers at the Russian Embassy on Thursday 16 November, 2006.
Outstanding in a career spanning well over half a century has been their introduction to the West of a stellar array of legendary Russian artists including - Mstislav Rostropovich, David & Igor Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Leonid Kogan, Galina Vishnevskaya, Viktoria Postnikova, the Borodin Quartet, Evgeny Mravinsky, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Kyril Kondrashin, Evgeny Svetlanov, Rudolf Barshai, Maxim Shostakovich, Arvid Jansons, Maya Plisetskaya, Natalia Makarova, Rudolph Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov, as well as the famous Russian orchestras including The Leningrad Philharmonic, The Moscow Philharmonic, The Russian State Orchestra and The Moscow Chamber Orchestra.
They were closely associated with the great composer Dmitri Shostakovich and arranged the first performances here of his symphonies Nos 4,8,13,14 and 15, the complete cycle of his fifteen quartets, his two violin and two cello concertos and his Seven Romances on verses by Alexander Blok. In 1972, they organised 32 concerts across the country in a Festival of Russian Music and Musicians with Dmitri Shostakovich as Guest of Honour.
In 1961 , Victor and Lilian brought the Kirov Ballet to the Royal Opera House for its first tour to the West, followed by the Bolshoi Ballet in 1963. Since then, there have been regular UK visits by these two magnificent companies arranged by the Hochhausers.
In 1999 , they presented the Bolshoi Opera and, in 2001 and 2005, the Mariinsky Opera with Valery Gergiev.
In 2006, they arranged the outstanding tour of the Bolshoi Ballet and the Bolshoi Opera which was a really great success.
In 1993, Victor Hochhauser was appointed CBE for his contribution to the arts.