Ilya Slatin

Russian conductor, pianist and teacher (b. 7/19 July 1845 in Belgorod, near Kursk; d. 13 April 1931 in Kharkov), born Ilya Ilyich Slatin (Илья Ильич Слатин).

Slatin enrolled at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1863, where over the next six years he studied music theory with Nikolay Zaremba, and piano with Aleksandr Dreyshtok (1818–1869). In 1869 he moved to Berlin, where he received further lessons in piano from Theodor Kuliak (1818–1882) and in composition from Richard Würst. He made his debut as conductor in Dresden two years later with symphonic concerts of Russian music.

In 1871 he returned to Russia, and with the assistance from Anton Rubinstein he founded the Kharkov branch of the Russian Musical Society (RMS), of which he was the first director. Slatin also founded the Kharkov Music school in 1883, which developed from the music classes started by the RMS.

As well as being a firm advocate and conductor of Tchaikovsky's music, Slatin also organised the composer's highly successful conducting tour of Kharkov in 1893.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

12 letters from Tchaikovsky to Ilya Slatin have survived, dating from 1884 to 1893, of which those highlighted in bold have been translated into English on this website:

9 letters from Ilya Slatin to the composer, dating from 1891 to 1893, are preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.