Nadezhda Rimskaya-Korsakova

Tchaikovsky Research
Nadezhda Rimskaya-Korsakova (1848-1919)

Russian pianist, composer, and writer (b. 19/31 October 1848 in Saint Petersburg; d. 11/24 May 1919 in Saint Petersburg), born Nadezhda Nikolayevna Purgold (Надежда Николаевна Пургольд); known after her marriage as Nadezhda Nikolayevna Rimskaya-Korsakova (Надежда Николаевна Римская-Корсакова).

Nadezhda began to play the piano at the age of nine, and in the mid–1860s she studied at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory under Anton Gerke for piano, Nikolay Zaremba for music theory, and later Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908) for composition and orchestration. The latter became her husband in 1872, after which she concentrated less on composition, and more on arrangements and proof-reading.

In 1871, her transcription of Tchaikovsky's overture-fantasia Romeo and Juliet for piano duet was published by Bote & Bock in Berlin, although ill health prevented her from providing a similar service for his Symphony No. 2, which in 1872 she had reportedly begged Tchaikovsky 'with tears in her eyes' to arrange for piano duet.


Tchaikovsky dedicated his Cradle Song — No. 1 of the Six Romances, Op. 16 (1872–73) — to Nadezhda Rimskaya-Korsakova, who was then expecting her first child.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

No letters from Tchaikovsky to Nadezhda Rimskaya-Korsakova are known, but 2 letters from Nadezhda to the composer, both dating from 1881, are preserved in the Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve at Klin (a4, Nos. 3804–3805).

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