- Nicholas Tochka
(b Tirana, Albania, Dec 8, 1945). Albanian conductor and violinist. The son of vocalist Mihal Ciko and nephew of composer Nikolla Zoraqi, he was a leading member of the first generation of musicians to be trained by socialist-era Albania’s new music institutions. A virtuoso violinist, he graduated from the State Conservatory in 1967 and immediately assumed teaching duties and an appointment as concertmaster to the Theatre of Opera and Ballet’s Orchestra. Ciko was named artistic director of the same institution in 1970. Between 1973 and 1974, a number of musicians and artists came under attack for exhibiting so-called politically subversive attitudes. Caught up in this purge, Ciko was reassigned to Patos, a large village, where he remained effectively exiled until his rehabilitation a decade later. First reappointed to the faculty at the Arts Lyceum ‘Jordan Misja’ he then organized a successful string ensemble, Tirana’s Young Virtuosi, which toured and recorded in the country and abroad. Ciko was appointed director of the Radio-Television Orchestra in ...