Two months ago, I reported the death of Vitalij Margulis whose stature among musicians was always miles higher than among media. Since then, I have yet to see an obituary appear in English or German, the two cultures he inhabited in exile (correct me if you’ve seen one).
Just how important a figure he must have been was revealed on the Lebrecht Interview on BBC Radio 3 this week, when the conductor Semyon Bychkov movingly described his role as a pioneer of Russian musicians in exile, ‘the first of us to get a proper job’, a man always willing to share his contact and good fortune with others less fortunate.
Bychkov wanted the world to know of the hope and kindness Margulis shared with hundreds of others. He was a moral guide, said Bychkov in an off-mike comment, almost an archaic exilarch.
Here‘s Mary Kunz Goldman’s report.