Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna

Tchaikovsky Research
Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna (1807-1873)

Grand Duchess of Russia (b. 9 January 1807 [N.S.] in Stuttgart; d. 21 January/2 February 1873 in Saint Petersburg), born Princess Frederika Charlotte Mariya of Württemberg; known after her marriage as Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna (or Elena Pavlovna) of Russia (Елена Павловна).

She was the daughter of Prince Paul of Württemberg (1785–1852) and his wife Charlotte (1787–1847), raised and educated in Paris. In 1823, she married the Russian Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich (1798–1849), younger son of Emperor Paul I, and brother to Aleksander I and Nikolay I, and after converting to the Orthodox faith became the Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna. After her marriage she became a patroness of several charity organisations, including the Russian Musical Society (RMS), of which she was the president.

Yelena Pavlovna's death at Stuttgart on 21 January 1873 caused the postponement of the premiere of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 at an RMS concert in Moscow. The composer's opera Vakula the Smith (1874) was dedicated to the Grand Duchess's memory.


Tchaikovsky's opera Vakula the Smith, Op. 14 (1874), was dedicated posthumously to the Grand Duchess's memory.

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