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Leonid Ostrouchow

Leonid Ostrouchow

Leonid S Ostrouchow (March 10, 1867, Moscow, Russian Empire – February 11, 1937, Riga, Republic of Latvia) – a senior advisor to the Livonia governorate, public and theatrical figure, teacher.

Leonid Ostrouchow was born in the well-to-do merchants family, grew up in an artistic environment. From his childhood, he was attached to the scenic art. His parents` house was visited by many eminent agents of culture that could not help telling on the formation of views and likings of the young man.

Leonid Ostrouchow graduated from Moscow classical grammar school and Moscow University.

From 1892 to 1897 Leonid Ostrouchow worked as a teacher at Riga Real College named after the emperor Peter the 1-st.

At the same time he was in civil service at the administration of the Livonia governor – at first as an official for special affairs, later – as junior and senior advisor. As a senior adviser to the Livland provincial government, he regularly replaced the Livonian vice-governor (somewhere since 1910) when he was engaged on other matters or was on vacation.

By the decree of the tsar  Leonid Ostrouchow was granted the hereditary nobility for faultless service.

“Upon settling down in Riga, Leonid Ostrouchow was actively involved in local social activities. First of all, he was a loyal friend of the Russian theatre and the theatre awarded him reciprocal love as well. It is impossible to imagine Leonid Ostrouchow without theatre and theatre without Ostrouchow.

The fact that the Russian population of Riga before the 1-st World War received its Drama theatre owes a lot to Leonid Ostrouchow. The building on Valdemara Street, at the canal was built on the funds raised by Leonid Ostrouchow according to the plans nurtured by him” (See.: Death of Ostrouchow/ Умер Л. С. Остроухов. – Segodnya, 12 February 1937).

Leonid Ostrouchow masterminded the creation of the Dramatic society in Riga; performed the functions of its chairperson for many years, served as an actor and producer. In addition, he was a permanent member of the Artistic commission, head of the Artistic department. Thanks to his efforts Riga was visited by the talented producer Konstantin Nezlobin (original name Konstantin Alabyev) who contributed a lot to the renaissance of the theatre.

According to the appointment of Livland governor Ostrouchow became a member of the Russian Theatre administration established in 1901. He served in the Administration until 1917, when the Theatre had to terminate its activities due to the approaching front line.

After the declaration of the Latvian Republic in 1918, Leonid Ostrouchow was one of the first to return to Riga and become involved in public life.

Leonid Ostrouchow was one of the founders of the Russian Literary-Theatrical society. He promoted the rebirth of the Russian theatre in Riga in 1921 and maintained close connections with it until his death.

He was a member of various Russian organizations in Latvia: “Russian National Union”, “Riga Russian Enlightenment society”, “Russian club”, “Charity society”, “Society of Chamber Music lovers” etc.

In 1927 Leonid Ostrouchow became a member of the Society of Guarantors of the Russian theatre. In 1932 he joined the administration of the newly created “Society of the friends of the Russian Theatre in Latvia”. The society was able to avoid a financial crisis of the theatre in 1935 by repossessing it.

Under new political conditions Leonid Ostrouchow returned to his teaching profession. From 1918 until his retirement he taught Russian and History at the Jewish grammar school of the engineer Y. Landau. At the same time he taught at the Russian private grammar schools of Ludmila Taylova, Olimpiada Lishina and Natalia Vinzaraya.

Shortly before his death Leonid Ostrouchow took part in the commemoration celebration in the Russian theatre devoted to the 200-th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin`s death. Suddenly he felt unwell: he had a heart attack, but the doctor did not pay due attention to this fact.

The next day Leonid Ostrouchow was going to visit the first night of the opera ”Boris Godunov” and make a speech before the beginning of the performance. But his sudden death prevented him from realizing his plan.

The funeral service of the deсeased Leonid Ostrouchow took place in the Riga Orthodox Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ. The burial service was performed by the archpriest Ioann Yanson. He stated that the ideal of the deceased embodied the Russian intellectual whose heart incorporated continual desires and aspirations to serve the truth (See.: A. Perov. At the funeral of Leonid Ostrouchow/ На погребении Л.С. Остроухова – Segodnya, 15 February 1937).

Leonid Ostrouchow was buried at St. John’s cemetery in Riga not far from the gravesites of the producer K. Nezlobin and theatrical decorator and costume designer Yuri Rykovsky (the latter is not retained).

Leonid Ostrouchow was married to Maria (born Bryanskaya; 1872-1944). After graduation from the private grammar school for girls of Y. Chulkova in Moscow, Maria Bryanskaya passed an exam for the position of home teacher in 1890 and worked in this position until 1895. She resumed her pedagogical work in 1918 and taught French and English at the private grammar school of L. Taylova in Riga until 1925.

Ostrouchow`s son Nikolay (1904-1945) was christened in the orthodox church of St. Apostols Peter and Paul in Riga. In 1922 he graduated from the grammar school  of Y. Landau. In 1923 he entered the Department of Law of the faculty of economy and law of the University of Latvia, but he did not manage to complete the course of studies. At the end of 1939 the widow and son of Leonid Ostrouchow applied for German citizenship and emigrated to Germany. In 1945 Nikolay Ostrouchow was reported missing in action and later pronounced dead. In the same year his son Victor was born, now living in Germany.

Leonid Ostrouchow`s brother Ilya Ostrouchow (1858-1929), a famous art collector and artist, lived, worked and died in Moscow. Ilya Ostrouchow was the first curator of the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow from 1905 to 1913.

 Tatiana Feigmane


Information sources:

LVVA (Latvian State Historical Archive), f. 2996, op. 14, c. 4175.

LVVA, f. 2996, op.4, c.4176.

LVVA, f. 2996, op.14, c.4188.

LVVA, f. 1632, op.1, c.15271.

LVVA, f. 1632, op.1, c.15272.

LVVA, f. 7427, op.1, c.7707.

Русский театр в Риге: 1883-1912. – Рига, 1912.

Пятилетие Русского театра в Латвии. 1921-1926. – Рига, 1926.

Десять лет Русского театра в Латвии. – Рига, 1931.

Пятнадцать лет Русского театра в Латвии. Издание «Общества друзей русского театра в Латвии». Под редакцией А. Перова. – Рига, 1936.

Генрих Гроссен. Жизнь в Риге. –Даугава, №1, 1994, стр. 171, 173.

Б. Шалфеев. Л. С. Остроухов. (К 25-летнему юбилею). – Сегодня, 1924, 7 декабря.

В. Гадалин. Л.С. Остроухов. – Наш огонёк, 1924, 3.

Фото с Правлением Русского просветительного общества. – Сегодня, 1929, 27 октября.

И.К. [Кобылянский]. 45 лет, отданных театру. [Воспоминания Л.С. Остроухова о К.Н. Незлобине]. – Сегодня вечером, 1930,  5 мая.

Фото в составе Общества друзей русского театра. – Для Вас, 1935, №40.

А. Перов. Умер Л.С. Остроухов. – Сегодня, 1937, 12 февраля.

А. Перов. На погребении Л.С. Остроухова. Сегодня, 1937, 15 февраля.

А. Перов. Пушкинские торжества в Риге 37 ½ лет тому назад. Последняя беседа с Л.С. Остроуховым. – Сегодня вечером, 1937, 16 февраля.

Вахрушева Е.А. Дорога исканий. -  Рига: Латвийское государственное издательство, 1958.

Русаков Ю.А. - Илья Семенович Остроухов : [художник-пейзажист] : 1858-1929 Москва : Искусство, 1954.

Стодесятилетие со дня основания русского театра в Риге. – Рига, 1994.


Photos from the Ostrouchows` family archive


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