Prov Sadovsky

Tchaikovsky Research
Prov Sadovsky (1818-1872)

Russian dramatic actor (b. 11/23 October 1818 at Livny, near Oryol); d. 16/28 July 1872 in Moscow), born Prov Mikhaylovich Yermilov (Пров Михайлович Ермилов); known onstage as Prov Mikhaylovich Sadovsky (Пров Михайлович Садовский).

Raised by his maternal uncles, Grigory and Dmitry Sadovsky, who were well-known provincial actors, Prov Yermilov adopted their surname for his stage debut in Tula, aged just fourteen. After performing in various provincial cities, he arrived in Moscow in 1838 and was soon hired by the Imperial Theatres, where he remained for the rest of his career,

He became one of the foremost interpreters of the plays of Aleksandr Ostrovsky, and became the patriarch of a three-generation theatrical dynasty based at the Maly Theatre.

Tchaikovsky knew Sadovsky through his acquaintance with Ostrovsky in the mid 1860s, and he is known to have sought the actor's advice concerning the use of a folksong in his Symphony No. 1 (1866).

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

No letters from Tchaikovsky to Prov Sadovsky are known, but one letter from Sadovsky to the composer, dating from 30 January/11 February 1869, is preserved in the Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve at Klin (a4, No. 3868).

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