Centre for Russian Music News and Events

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Spring 2019

Join us for our free CRM and Music Research Series talks at Goldsmiths.

Wednesday 27 February; Time: 6pm; Venue: Council Chamber, Deptford Town Hall
Dr Javier Ares Yebra

Lecture: "The Musical Thought of Pierre Souvtchinsky", and Guitar Recital, organised by the CRM in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in London.

Dr Javier Ares Yebra explores the philosophy and musical thought of Pierre Souvtchinsky and his influence on the musical life of Paris in the early 20th century. The lecture will be followed by a guitar recital presenting works of Spanish and Russian composers.

Organised by the Centre for Russian Music, Goldsmiths, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in London

Philosopher and musicologist, Pierre Souvtchinsky was born in St Petersburg in 1892. He lived there and also in Sofia and Berlin but, mainly, Paris, where he remained from 1925 until his death in 1985. There he continued his deep and lifelong engagement with music.

Souvtchinsky was closely associated with Igor Stravinsky, especially through their collaboration on the lectures that the composer gave at Harvard University in 1939–1940, later published under the title Musical Poetics. He was also a close friend of several other composers, including Sergei Prokofiev and Pierre Boulez, as well as many intellectuals and poets, including Marina Tsvetaeva and René Char.

Music was for Souvtchinsky the paradigm of artistic creation. His concept of Chronos and idea of the "interior rhythmic" are some of the most important elements of his musical thought.

A man standing

Autumn 2018 Past Events

Join us for our free CRM and Music Research Series talks at Goldsmiths.

Tuesday 16 October; Time: 5.30pm; Venue: RHB 256
Dr Daniel Elphick (Royal Holloway, University of London)

‘The end of (music) History’: Asafiev, Lukács, and Socialist Realism

The body of work known as ‘Socialist-Realist’ music has been viewed with near-universal disdain since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. When it is mentioned, it is often presented as further evidence of the ‘failed experiment’ of twentieth-century socialism, and so strengthens the argument for the ‘End of History’. As the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 was pre-empted by the rise (and fall) of ‘New Musicology’ in the 1980s and 1990s, so the collapse of the Soviet regime was complemented by a rise in ‘form-based’ analysis in more recent Russian-speaking musicology. In a sense, both extremes on the sides of the former Cold War have lately been relaxing into a common analytical ground. One marked difference, however, is the reluctance on the part of former-Soviet scholars to engage with Socialist-Realist-era works, arguably tainted with the worst excesses of the Soviet ‘ideological’ method of analysis. Combining theoretical ideas from Soviet writers and drawing on examples from Russia and Poland, this talk provides a pragmatic approach arguing for the need to re-examine socialist realism in order to counter the end of (music) history. 

(Part of the Music Research Series)


Thursday 1 November; Time: 7pm; Venue: Deptford Town Hall Council Chamber
Dmitri Smirnov 70th Birthday Concert - a showcase of his Violin Sonatas and Piano Trios

Chamber music by Dmitri Smirnov, celebrating his 70th year, performed by 
Daniel Rowland, Gaëtane Prouvost, Natasha Sachsenmeier & Ludmila Pavlová (violins) and Maja Bogdanovic & Yoanna Prodanova (cellos)

"Canisy Variations" for Violin and Piano 
Piano Trio No. 1 
Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano 
Sonata No. 4 for Violin and Piano 
Piano Trio No. 3 
Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano
Followed by a Vodka reception!


Tuesday 11th December; Time: 5.30pm; Venue: Room RHB 256
Dr Aleksander Laskowski (Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw)

Cracks in the Monolith. Polish contemporary music and the Soviet aesthetic
From the times of Chopin music played a crucial role in the understanding of Polish identity.  Music played a vital role in the formation of Polish modernity, far beyond purely musical phenomena. After World War II Poland’s musical life was one of many fronts of the political and ideological battlefield, in which the Soviet-imposed aesthetic faced a strong opposition from the avant-garde oriented composers. Much of their work was met with enthusiasm in the unofficial Soviet artistic circles, which saw in Polish composers – above all Krzysztof Penderecki – trail-blazers and beacons of freedom.

(Part of the Music Research Series)