Creative Diaspora: Émigré Composers from the Former USSR: March 22 & 23, 2014

To complement the U.S. premiere performances of Alexander Raskatov’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, “Night Butterflies” (March 20, 22 & 23), the Seattle Symphony (the co-commissioner of the piece) will hold a conference on music of Russian diaspora, co-hosted by the University of Washington’s School of Music and Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures (March 22 & 23).

A “Russian invasion” has left palpable traces on the world’s musical landscape throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. The latest wave of music emigration from the former USSR is comparable in numbers to the early 20th century’s wave and includes such important names as Alfred Schnittke and Sofia Gubaidulina. The conference, “Creative Diaspora: Émigré Composers from the Former USSR,” aims to further the discussion of the music created within the diaspora by promoting music by important but unfairly forgotten or not yet well-established Russian émigré composers, and by advocating for the inclusion of issues related to Russian émigré music into the general studies of border crossing, emigration and diaspora.

Tickets are required for the March 20, 22 & 23 Masterworks Season concerts. All other conference panels and discussions are free and open to everyone. For more information on this conference, please contact Elena Dubinets, Seattle Vice President of Artistic Planning, at

Saturday, March 22

12:30–1:30pm (Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby)
Tales and Counterpoints

Claudia R. Jensen (Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington)
“‘The Incurable Russian Soul’: Seattle Discovers Russian Music, 1903–1954”

Laurel Fay (Consultant, Russian and CIS Music, G. Schirmer, Inc.)
“Cultural Collisions: Tales from the Late Soviet Period”

1:30–2pm – Coffee Break

2–3pm (Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby)
Diasporic Communities

Natalie Zelensky (Assistant Professor of Music at Colby College)
“Russian Émigré Church Music: Conundrums of Style and the Politics of Preservation”

Marina Ritzarev (Professor of Music at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and President of the Israeli Musicological Society)
“Whose Home and Where? Russian-School Composers in Israel”

3–4pm (Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby)

Elena Dubinets (Vice President of Artistic Planning at the Seattle Symphony)
“Creative Diaspora Introduction: Contextualizing Music by Russian Émigré Composers Within History and Culture”

4–6pm – Dinner Break

6pm – Pre-concert Event (Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium)

Panel discussion with world-renowned Russian music scholars Laurel Fay, Marina Ritzarev and Natalie Zelensky, moderated by Elena Dubinets. As part of the event, the Seattle Chamber Players will perform Alexander Raskatov’s Time of Falling Flowers.

8pm – Concert (S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium)

Performers: Ludovic Morlot, conductor; Tomoko Mukaiyama, piano; Seattle Symphony


Rimsky-Korsakov: Suite from The Snow Maiden
Alexander Raskatov: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, “Night Butterflies” (U.S. Premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, “Pathétique

Click here to learn more about this program.

10:15pm – Post-concert Discussion (Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby)

Participants: conductor Ludovic Morlot and pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama

Sunday, March 23

11–12:30pm (Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center)
First and Last Waves

Joshua Bedford (Doctoral Student in Musicology and Ethnomusicology at the University of Georgia)
“Alexander Tcherepnin’s Musical Language: A Look at a Composer’s Compositional Method out of the Russian Revolution Diaspora”

Ondrej Gima (Doctoral Student at Goldsmiths College, University of London)
“The Fiery Angel (Original Version): The Triangle of Love, Despair and Obsession”

Christoph Flamm (Professor of Applied Musicology at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria)
“The Very Last of Soviet Émigré Composers: Lera Auerbach”

12:30–2pm – Lunch Break

2–3:30pm (Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center)

Michael Berry (Lecturer at the University of Washington)
“Sofia Gubaidulina’s Musical Borrowing from Western Sources”

Peter Schmelz (Associate Professor of Musicology and Chair of the Music Department at Washington University in St. Louis)
“Ghosts and Shadow Sounds: Schnittke, Homeless”

Anna Levy (pianist) and Gregory Myers (independent scholar from Vancouver, Canada)
“Inside a Masterpiece: Musical and Ritual in Nikolai Korndorf’s Yarilo

3:30–4pm – Coffee Break

4–5:30pm (Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center)
Classical Music and Beyond

Inna Naroditskaya (Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, Northwestern University)
“‘All at Once’ – About Yakov Jakoulov”

Alexandra Grabarchuk (Doctoral Student in Musicology at University of California, Los Angeles)
“Catching the Last Train Home: David Tukhmanov’s Role in Post-Soviet Diasporic Estrada”

Dmitry Ukhov (jazz critic, Russia)
“Historical Features of Jazz Migration in the USSR and Russia to the USA”