Tchaikovsky Research

Kiev, also known as Kyiv (Київ), is the capital, municipal district and largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River.

During Tchaikovsky's lifetime it was the capital of the Kiev district (Киевская уезд) and Kiev province (Киевская губерния) in the Russian Empire.

Tchaikovsky in Kiev

The proximity of Kiev to the home of Tchaikovsky's sister Aleksandra at Kamenka and other friends and family in the Ukraine meant that the composer often passed through the city. His main visits were:

From Until Notes
22 August/4 September 1865 around 28 August/9 September 1865 Returning from Kamenka to Moscow, with his brothers Anatoly and Modest, Tchaikovsky visited Saint Sofia's Cathedral in Kiev.
3/15 July 1872 5/17 July 1872 Staying at the Grand-Hôtel with Modest Tchaikovsky and Sergey Donaurov, travelling from Kamenka to Nizy. The composer returned to Saint Sofia's Cathedral, and the neighbouring Monastery of the Caves, which he declared to be "time very pleasantly spent" [1].
8/20 December 1874 11/23 December 1874 For the first production in Kiev of his opera The Oprichnik (9/21 December).
15/27 July 1875 17/29 July 1875 Spending three days in Kiev en route from Moscow to Verbovka.
2/14 June 1876 3/15 June 1876 Stopping overnight on his way from Nizy to Kamenka.
28 July/9 August 1877 30 July/11 August 1877 Spending three days in Kiev after leaving behind his wife in Moscow, before continuing to Kamenka.
8/20 September 1877 10/22 September 1877 On the return journey he stopped to hear Verdi's La Traviata at the Kiev Opera, with soloist Yelizaveta Lavrovskaya.
13/25 May 1878 17/29 May 1878 Breaking his journey from Kamenka to Brailov.
11/23 June 1878 12/24 June 1878 Staying overnight en route from Nizy to Kamenka.
6/18 August 1878 7/19 August 1878 Another brief overnight stay, while travelling from Verbovka to Vorozhba.
29 August/10 September 1878 31 August/12 September 1878 Returning to the Grand-Hôtel, Tchaikovsky attended a performance of Verdi's Aida at the Kiev Opera.
21 June/3 July 1879 22 June/4 July 1879 Stopping en route from Kamenka to Nizy, he was impressed by the circus at the Chateau de Fleur.
22 December 1880/3 January 1881 24 December 1880/5 January 1881 Tchaikovsky found time for two visits to the theatre, on his way from Moscow to Kamenka.
21 July/2 August 1881 25 July/6 August 1881 Taking time out from a visit to Kamenka, the composer spent five days in Kiev choosing and purchasing books and music.
2/14 October 1881 5/17 October 1881 Stopping off at the Kiev Opera, while on his way from Moscow to Kamenka.
30 October/11 November 1881 10/22 November 1881 To attend the marriage of his niece Vera Davydova to Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (a cousin of the composer) on 4/16 November. He also saw a production of Luka Antropov's play Vanka the Steward, which he considered as the subject of his next opera.
24 April/6 May 1882 26 April/8 May 1882 Staying overnight on his way from Moscow to Kamenka.
20 August/1 September 1882 21 August/2 September 1882 While once again on his way from Moscow to Kamenka, the composer spent two days in Kiev "for essential purposes" and "partly for my love of Kiev, and in order to somewhat prolong the sense of solitude" [2].
20 September/2 October 1882 21 September/3 October 1882 Spending two days away from Kamenka, awaiting an advance from his publisher.
26 September/8 October 1882 28 September/10 October 1882 Visiting the Brothers' Monastery, where he particularly enjoyed the choral singing.
16/28 November 1882 19 November/1 December 1882 Returning from Kamenka to Moscow, he spent three days revising the first act of The Maid of Orleans at the request of the Imperial Theatres.
4/16 September 1883 5/17 September 1883 Stopping off en route from Moscow to Kamenka.
14/26 October 1883 17/30 October 1883 Breaking his visit to Kamenka by spending four days in Kiev, partly spent correcting a new edition of his Symphony No. 1.
5/17 September 1889 6/18 September 1889 Attending a production of Yevgeny Onegin at the Kiev Opera.
30 August/11 September 1890 30 August/11 September 1890 Stopping off en route from Kamenka to Kopylovo with Nikolay Konradi.
2/14 September 1890 3/15 September 1890 Visiting the opera company of Ippolit Pryanishnikov, who agreed to produce The Queen of Spades in Kiev.
11/23 December 1890 22 December 1890/3 January 1891 To attend the first and second performances of The Queen of Spades by Ippolit Pryanishnikov's opera company (19/31 December and 21 December/2 January), and a concert given by the Kiev Amateur Music Society (15/27 December).
17/29 December 1891 23 December 1891/4 January 1892 To conduct the orchestra of the Kiev branch of the Russian Musical Society in a performance of his own works (21 December/2 January), including the Suite No. 3, the Entr'acte and Dances of the Chambermaids from the opera The Voyevoda and the overture The Year 1812.


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Notes and References

  1. Letter 268 to Anatoly Tchaikovsky, 5/17 July 1872.
  2. Letter 2079 to Nadezhda von Meck, 20 August/1 September 1882.