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Mark Danilovich Sokolovsky (1818-1883)
Mark Danilovich Sokolovsky
     Mark Danilovich Sokolovsky was born on the 25th of April 1818 near Zhitomir in a Polish family. The interest for music was shown by the boy in an early childhood. From the six years he doesn't leave a small guitar with he has found on the garret of their house. But the parents don't encourage his musical lessons. But Mark can't already live without music. Coming with parents to Berdichev he masters without assistance by schools of guitar playing of M. Giuliani, L. Lenyani and K. Merts the performance skill bases, and studies also to play piano, violin and violoncello. On the 26th of May 1841 at the age of 23 years M. Sokolovsky makes his debut in Zhitomir with the concert e-moll of F. Carulli. The young guitarist was hearty welcomed by the audience. Inspired by success, he gives concerts in different tows of Ukraine.
     1846 M. Sokolovsky gave his first concert in Moscow, which had a great success and strengthened the artist faith in hisself, in his talent.
     Every year grows the guitarist popularity in Moscow. On the 8th March 1857 he gave the concert in the largest hall of Moscow - in the hall of Noble assembly (now Columns Hall of Union House). "Moscow gazette" (21yh of March 1857) noted, that at Sokolovsky's concert were present more than thousand audiences. Other Russian newspapers wrote also of guitarist's success. 
     1858 began the tours of Sokolovsky abroad. Vienna audience was delighted with the Russian artist: nobody of guitarists had such a cordial welcome. The foreign press wrote of his concerts as of a wonder. The famous German critic E. Etinger named M. Sokolovsky "Byron of guitar", saying that his play "inspires life even in the stone". The artist wrote to his mother that he must now have precedence in Europe.
     After Vienna, M. Sokolovsky performs in Warsaw, Vilno, Kovno (now Vilnius, Kaunas), Minsk, other Lithuanian and Byelorussia towns. After one of the concerts in Minsk, A. Kontsky, the most famous in that days polish violinist, Paganini's follower, presented him his photo with the inscription: "To the well-known artist Mark Sokolovsky as a sign of our delight and love. Apollinary Kontsky, Minsk, 2/14 October 1858!"
     The triumphal performances of M. Sokolovsky in Wiesbaden, Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels, Dresden, Milano, Krakow, Warsaw in 1863-1868 gave him the glory of one of the most brilliant masters of guitar playing.
As famous musician M. Sokolovsky returned to Russia. On the 25th of January 1869 was his concert in the overcrowded hall of Bolshoi Theatre.
     The performances of Sokolovsky continued till 1877 but they were very seldom because of the artist illness. The last public concert of the master was 1877 in Petersburg in the hall of court singing choir. His last years M. Sokolovsky lived in Vilno where he died on the 25th of December 1883.
     The famous musician-virtuoso is buried on Vilno cemetery Rasu (near him is buried the famous painter and composer M. K. Churlenis). On the grave is a fine small tombstone with the bronze picture of artist and words: Mark Sokolovsky - famous European guitarist - 25th of December 1883 - 65 years old.


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