Curator's blog: Celebrating Prokofiev

In 2016 the whole world celebrates the 125th anniversary of Sergey Prokofiev, an emblematic Russian composer, one of the artists that makes up Russia’s Hall of Fame. CDs are being released and his music is being programmed around the globe. Valery Gergiev has put on two extraordinary galas in Moscow and St Petersburg and in September he is bringing his famous Mariinsky Orchestra to London’s Cadogan Hall to perform all of Prokofiev’s symphonies in the course of three evenings. Russian pianist Nikolay Lugansky continues to do the complete cycle of Prokofiev’s concertos with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. On 5 October Blackheath Halls launches a brand new charity, dedicated to the memory of Sergey’s son, Oleg.

As the home of Russian culture in London, Pushkin House could not possibly stand aside and we will host our own Prokofiev marathon on Friday 21st October during Bloomsbury Festival. Distinguished musicians whose geography ranges from Siberia to Estonia, Kazakhstan to the UK combine forces in order to produce a rarely heard combination of Prokofiev’s vocal and instrumental works.

Songs on Akhmatova’s poems will be followed by instrumental and chamber music masterpieces and the whole evening will culminate in the performance of one of his most famous works – the 7th Sonata for piano for which the composer received a Stalin Prize. Performers on the night are prizewinners of more than 20 international competitions including ‘Tchaikovsky’ in Moscow and ‘Van Cliburn’ in Texas. What will add to the uniqueness of the event is the world premiere of a work commissioned by Pushkin House especially for the occasion. In his composition British composer-pianist Nathan Williamson will be paying tribute to Prokofiev’s ‘indefatigable belief in his own decisions and opinions’.

Alexander is the Music Curator at the Pushkin House and helps organise the classical music side of our programme. He is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and City University London, where in 2014 he successfully defended his doctoral thesis on performance practice in the music of Nikolay Medtner. If you would like to propose a concert at Pushkin House, or have any other enquiries relating to our music programme, please email Alexander on alexander.karpeyev@pushkinhouse.org.uk.