Today's concert in Moscow Conservatory is dedicated to the Day of the diplomats.
Today, only the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky himself (portrait) will be performed in the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
The organizers instructed me to host this event, although I am not a professional entertainer, so they decided to create some kind of unofficial, but friendlier, club atmosphere since today mostly colleagues from the diplomatic service of different countries and continents are here today.
Why did they choose me - the fact is that I am not a musicologist, but in some way
I am engaged in cultural diplomacy - I popularize the knowledge about life and work of Tchaikovsky in different countries of the world, and I started doing it since I am a descendant of both of Tchaikovsky and von Meck families. Nadezhda von Meck was the closest friend and patron and their families got intermarried in the next generation.
Among my ancestors I have diplomats who served in the USA, Sweden, Yugoslavia, and Great Britain.
What did Tchaikovsky have to do with Diplomacy?
I can name several things:
1) His mother was half French. In his veins Tchaikovsky had not only Russian, but also a significant part of Ukrainian blood, French and Austrian, and possibly German. He was brought up by a French governess.
2) Tchaikovsky was a great traveler, he traveled all over Europe, lived in it for many years, was invited to America for the opening of the most prestigious music hall - Carnegie Hall. He had the experience of communicating with a huge number of countries and cultures. In total, he visited 163 cities in 19 countries of the world (according to the current state of the borders). It's a lot! There were no planes back then. I will remind the era, he lived in the 2nd half of the 19th century - he was born in 1840 and died in 1893.
3) He spoke several languages, read a huge amount of literature in the original, corresponded with 400 people in different languages.
4) By the end of his life, he had the following titles: honorary doctor at the University of Cambridge (Great Britain), corresponding member of the Paris Academy of Fine Arts (France), honorary member of the Florence Academy of Arts (Italy), and member of the Amsterdam Philharmonic Society (Netherlands).
5) He wrote: "Music is a treasure into which every nationality contributes its own, for the common good."
6) Tchaikovsky, as a conductor, traveled and performed at all important music halls in Europe and America and conducted the works of more than 10 different composers from around the world.
7) As an indirect confirmation in my world's largest collection of coins and medals with a portrait of Tchaikovsky there are rare specimens from 20 countries of the world: Turkey, France, Laos, Ukraine, North Korea, Italy, Yugoslavia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, San Marino, Czechoslovakia, China, Japan!
Tchaikovsky is very international!
Please, listen to a literary portrait of Tchaikovsky from a famous French writer Romain Rolland:
"The head of a diplomat or a Russian officer. Sideburns and square beard. Open forehead, bony prominent brow ridges; the gaze is fixed, fixedly directed straight ahead and at the same time, as it were, inward. Tall, skinny. Impeccably correct, in white gloves and a tie.
Very few people, even musicians, know about Tchaikovsky as an outstanding conductor.
What the Polish newspaper "Warsaw Diary" wrote about this: "As a conductor, Tchaikovsky justified the fame that came before his appearance here in Warsaw. Inspiring the orchestra, this out-of-line conductor has an irresistible effect on the listeners as well. He makes an indelible impression with the ingenious artistry of his nature, not only on those initiated into the mysteries of musical art but also on the whole mass of listeners.
And here is the opinion of another world-famous person, but not from the musical environment - a writer Anton Chekhov: "I am ready to stand guard of honor day and night at the porch of the house where Pyotr Ilyich lives - to such an extent I respect him."
They had a warm friendship relation and they even planned to write an opera "Bela" together, based on Lermontov's poems. But they didn't have enough time.
In several countries nowadays there are societies of followers of Tchaikovsky's music and one more will be officially registered in Japan this week on February 10, on the birthday of his friend Nadezhda von Meck.
I organize dozens of literary and musical events and exhibitions every year and will be happy to participate in the cultural programs at your embassies and communities, be free to invite me.
And now the main thing - music!
The organizers have given us a wonderful gift - today you will listen to the first performance of two of Tchaikovsky's greatest works in the original author's version in one concert.
Even those who often listen to Tchaikovsky's music will get new emotions!
At the stage - Moscow State Academic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pavel Kogan, conductor -Felix Korobov, piano - Nikita Galaktionov.
In the first part, the infrequently performed Second Piano Concerto in G major, opus 44, written in 1878-1880, will be performed.
The second part of it is perhaps the most beautiful thing that came out of the musical genius Tchaikovsky.
And you can envy those who will listen to it for the first time!