Tchaikovsky Research

Smolensk (Смоленск) is a city and the administrative centre of Smolensk district (Смоленский район) and Smolensk oblast (Смоленская область) in the Russian Federation.

During Tchaikovsky's lifetime it formed part of the Smolensk district (Смоленский уезд) and Smolensk province (Смоленская губерния) of the Russian Empire.

Tchaikovsky in Smolensk

Tchaikovsky visited Smolensk on 20 May/1 June 1885 to attend the unveiling of a monument to the composer Mikhail Glinka, where he saw "a huge confluence of famous people", and did not have "one minute of freedom or quiet" throughout the proceedings [1]. He left the following day, missing the rest of the festivities.

At one of the concerts given in Smolensk as part of these festivities, Tchaikovsky's overture-fantasia Romeo and Juliet was performed at the request of Glinka's elderly sister, Lyudmila Shestakova (1816-1906) [2].

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Notes and References

  1. Letter 2712 to Nadezhda von Meck, 26 May/7 June 1885.
  2. See Balakirev's letter to Tchaikovsky, 31 October/12 November 1884 in Милий Алексеевич Балакирев. Воспоминания и письма (1962), p. 173.