Fyodor Becker

Russian baritone and choirmaster (b. 1851; d. 1901), born Fyodor Fyodorovich Bekker (Фëдор Фëдорович Беккер).

In 1880 Bekker graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, and became assistant to the director of the Mariinsky Theatre Opera Company in 1892, having already attained the position of second soloist in the Saint Petersburg Opera, and singing instructor in the Aleksandrovsky Military Academy. He was actively involved in the field of music education, and in 1887 he began to organise open choral concerts of operatic and religious music. In 1890, together with Ivan Melnikov, he founded "Free Choral Classes" in the Russian Capital.

It was at Bekker's request that in 1889 Tchaikovsky wrote the chorus The Nightingale, and made a choral arrangement of his song Legend — No. 5 from the Sixteen Songs for Children, Op. 54. Bekker was also the first to conduct the Three Choruses (1891), which were premiered by his students in Saint Petersburg.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

One letter from Tchaikovsky to Fyodor Becker has survived, dating from 1889, and has been translated into English on this website:

One letter from Bekker to Tchaikovsky, dating from 1889, is preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.