Love Spiritualized: The Epistolary Romance of Tchaikovsky and Nadezhda von Meck

Monday, 30 April 2018, 5:30-7:30
, at CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, room 9204

The 13-year relationship between Tchaikovsky and his patroness Nadezhda von Meck, conducted entirely through letters, was one of the strangest stories in the history of Romantic music. Their spiritualized romance will be discussed within the context of music patronage in Russia, Tchaikovsky’s conflicts about his homosexuality, his failed marriage, and Nadezhda’s unflinching admiration for him and his music, with a detailed discussion of her role in the composition of the ballet The Sleeping Beauty. The highly unusual pattern of Nadezhda’s patronage of Tchaikovsky will also be examined in relation to the composer’s artistic development and Nadezhda’s influence on the direction of his career.

Anne Swartz
Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Baruch College
Professor in the Ph.D. Program in Musicology at The Graduate Center

James Melo
Musicologist with the Ensemble for the Romantic Century
Senior Editor at  Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale (RILM)
CUNY Graduate Center


Presented by the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation, CUNY, and the Ensemble for the Romantic Century in connection with ERC’s series of theatrical concert None by the Lonely Heart.

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