An artist of striking talent and outstanding skill, high culture and fine musical taste, Boris Emmanuilovich Khaikin (1904-1978) worked in many opera houses of Moscow and Leningrad, and from 1954 to the end of his life he acted as a conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre. He conducted 12 of the Bolshoi's first nights of the period, the best of his spectacles being "Eugene Onegin", "The Queen of Spades", "Le Mariage de Figaro", "Fra Diavolo", "Fantom Ship", "Decembrists" and "An Unknown Soldier", etc.
Khaikin attached great importance to the orchestra's sound. He said that "orchestra is the composer's main weapon, it creates the spectacle's entire emotional basis, and by merging with the vocal bunds or forming a contrast to it, the orchestra augments each singing line". That is why one of the conductor's main tasks was to comprehend the profundity and essence of the author's conception.
During the spectacles the conductor seemed to be enveloped in a kind of an aura of special concentration and spirituality.