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Each of Pushkin’s works has its own unique sound. Sometimes the music is obvious, as it is in poems like “The Bacchic Song” or “My Beauty, do not sing for me”, but at other times readers are left to interpret the melody themselves, with Pushkin’s words to guide them.

Pushkin wrote in many different styles, and each genre of writing has its own sound. Wedding laments, love songs, chants and romantic poems may have a very rich sound, such as the song from The Captain’s Daughter (“Do not rustle, Mother oak-grove”). At other times, the music might be hidden behind a ceremony or game, as in “Tales of Belkin” or “Eugene Onegin”. Sometimes, the sound is masked by cultural reputation, as in the poem “Memorial”. Regardless of the varied ways it can be presented, the music of the text is just as important as the text itself. One can only truly read a text by Pushkin when one has first experienced its music.

Another approach is to listen to music that already exists. The sounds of Pushkin’s texts have been woven into many pieces of music, such as the folk songs “The Prisoner” or “The Eaglet”, the hundreds of versions of “The Prologue”, or the many songs dedicated to the poet himself.

This evening, Sergey Oskolkov will play well-known compositions inspired by Pushkin’s masterpieces, such as “Eugene Onegin”, followed by an academic appreciation of the literature presented by Professor Vladimir Golovin.

Sergey Oskolkov studied piano and composition at the Leningrad Conservatoire, and is currently based in St. Petersburg. He has performed throughout Europe and at various international music festivals, with a repertoire consisting mostly of works by 19 th and 20 th century composers from Russia and Western Europe. He also often performs his own works and the work of his contemporaries in St. Petersburg. He has composed around 100 different works in a wide variety of styles, including operas, quartets, and pieces for solo piano. In 1997, he founded the international arts festival “Sergey Oskolkov and Friends”, which takes place every year in St. Petersburg and brings together poets, artists, and musicians, both traditional and avant-garde, from Russia and the rest of Europe.

ValentinGolovin is a head of Children's Literature Research Centre in the Institute of Russian Literaturein St. Petersburg, also known as Pushkin House. The Institute was founded in 1905 as a centre for the study of Pushkin’s work, and it amassed a vast collection of Pushkin’s original manuscripts and memorabilia. After the Russian revolution it joined the network of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and expanded to encompass all of the writers of 19 th Century Russia, such as Dostoevsky, Lermontov and Turgenev. Throughout the Soviet era the Institute of Russian Literature remained a leading academic centre in Russia, and the great poet Alexander Blok even dedicated his last poem to it. Today, Pushkin House has a collection of manuscripts dating back as far as the 13 th century, as well as a vast library of music recordings and numerous personal documents belonging to the most legendary of Russian authors.

This event is generously sponsored by the Administration of the City of St Petersburg.


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