As a student at the Leningrad conservatory, Semyon Bychkov was
not always quiet about his opposition to the enforced Soviet political dogma.
Bychkov was set to make his professional conducting debut in the mid 1970s, but
the concert was cancelled after Soviet authorities told the Leningrad
Philharmonic's managers that Bychkov was politically unreliable. At the age of
twenty, and before he could graduate from the conservatory, Bychkov's career
seemed doomed. In spite of all of this, Semyon Bychkov emigrated to the United
States and has become a highly respected and internationally renowned conductor.