Vladimir Shilovsky

Tchaikovsky Research
Vladimir Shilovsky (1852-1893)

Russian artist, singer, poet and amateur composer (b. 11/23 January 1852; d. 25 June/6 July 1893 at Usovo), born Vladimir Stepanovich Shilovsky (Владимир Степанович Шиловский); also known after 1879 as Count Vasilyev-Shilovsky (Граф Васильев-Шиловский).

Tchaikovsky and Vladimir Shilovsky

The son of Major Stepan Stepanovich Shilovsky (1823–1862) and his wife Mariya (1827–1879), Vladimir showed an early aptitude for music, and he enrolled at the Moscow Conservatory aged fifteen. Here his abilities were recognised and encouraged by his professor of composition — Tchaikovsky. After Vladimir's graduation from the conservatory, a number of his pieces were performed in theatres and concert halls, and he is said to have contributed an entr'acte to Tchaikovsky's opera The Oprichnik (1870–72)..

Vladimir's mother and older brother Konstantin (1849–1893) were also friends of the composer, and during the 1870s Tchaikovsky frequently stayed at the family estate at Usovo, near Tambov, where he completed his fantasia The Tempest (1873), the opera Vakula the Smith (1874), and the Symphony No. 3 (1875).

In 1877, Shilovsky married Anna Alekseyevna Vasilyeva (1841-1910), daughter of Count Aleksey Vladimirovich Vasilyev (1808–1895), and in 1879 was granted the title of Count Vasilyev-Shilovsky. He died on 25 June/6 July 1893, following a long illness.


In 1872, Tchaikovsky dedicated his Two Pieces, for piano, Op. 10, "à mon ami Vladimir Schilovsky".

The autograph score of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29 (1875) is inscribed to Vladimir Shilovsky, although the printed editions contain no dedication.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

15 letters from Tchaikovsky to Vladimir Shilovsky have survived, dating from 1873 to 1893, of which those highlighted in bold have been translated into English on this website:

7 letters from Vladimir Shilovsky to the composer, dating from 1867 to 1893, are preserved in the Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve at Klin (a4, Nos. 390–396).


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