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The Spirit of Pushkin: A Celebration in Music and Words

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Pushkin House's annual celebration of Alexander Pushkin – with new translations and performances.

Join poets, translators and the leading lights of Pushkin House for an evening of poetry, music and song celebrating the life of Russia's most famous poet – in whose honour Pushkin House was founded and whose memory we cherish.

Some of the best translators of Alexander Pushkin's work will read from Pushkin's poetry and prose; poems are being especially translated for the evening.

Special themes will be Pushkin’s dramatic encounters with Tsar Nicholas I and a commemoration, in prose and verse, of the 180th anniversary of Pushkin’s death after his last and fateful duel. We shall also be reading some of the work inspired by Pushkin’s visit to Crimea, in which the poet writes in the style of – or reminisces about – past Crimean civilisations.                   

Pushkin Club co-chair and former Pushkin House Trustee David Brummell will introduce these themes. Alla Gelich and Antony Wood, with members of “Muzika Lyra” company Nadia Giliova (piano) and Lila Moshtael (voice), will take part in the verse-and-music performance devoted to Crimea.

 Elena Dobson and Tatiana Schofield will recite selected poems by Pushkin.

One of the original Trustees of Pushkin House Irina Kirillova (in Russian) and Antony Wood (in his English translations) will read two of Pushkin’s poems he wrote following encounters with Tsar Nicholas I – ‘Prorok’, ‘The Prophet’ and ‘Pora, moy drug, pora!’, ‘It’s time, my friend, it’s time!’.

Clementine Cecil, Elena Dobson, David Brummell and Alla Gelich will read a prose passage and two poems mourning Pushkin’s untimely death and praising his memory.  

Also performing material are writer Megan Watkins, artist/musician Conor Kelly, and Mark Waldron (author of 3 poetry collections, most recently Meanwhile, Trees with Bloodaxe books).

There will be a short section in the programme when audience members are welcome to speak, recite or otherwise perform Pushkin or Pushkin-inspired work. Please come prepared if you wish to take part!

The programme will be in both Russian and English, and will include poem texts in both the original Russian and English translation.