Ivan Grekov

Tchaikovsky Research

Russian operatic artist and impresario (b. 1849; d. 1919), born Ivan Nikolayevich Grekov (Иван Николаевич Греков).

Grekov was of Don Cossack origins. He worked as a singer with the Maly Theatre Company in Moscow and also taught at the Moscow Theatrical School. Subsequently he became an impresario and manager of the Opera House in Odessa, where Tchaikovsky's opera The Queen of Spades was produced in January 1893. Grekov had hoped that the composer himself would conduct the first performance. Although this did not work out, Tchaikovsky did attend the Odessa premiere of his opera on 19/31 January and was greatly impressed. Grekov was keen for Tchaikovsky to come to Odessa again during the 1893/94 season to conduct a performance of Iolanta, and it was in connection with these plans that Tchaikovsky wrote to Grekov on 21 October/2 November 1893 (Letter 5065) — his last known letter. Grekov eventually went bankrupt and returned to the dramatic theatre. For a number of years he headed the Moscow Philharmonic School, from which Anton Chekhov's future wife, Olga Knipper, and other famous actors graduated.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

One letter from Tchaikovsky to Ivan Grekov has survived, dating from 1893, and has been translated into English on this website:

One letter from Grekov to the composer, dating from 4/16 October 1893, is preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.