Aleksandra Zograf

Tchaikovsky Research
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Aleksandra Zograf (1850–1919)

Russian pianist and teacher (b. 9/21 April 1850 at Lyubimskoye, near Yaroslavl; d. 1919 in Moscow, born Aleksandra Yuryevna Zograf (Александра Юрьевна Зограф), known after her marriage as Zograf-Dulova (Зограф-Дулова).

In 1870, Aleksandra graduated from Nikolay Rubinstein's piano class and Tchaikovsky's harmony class at the Moscow Conservatory. During the 1870s and 1880s she toured successfully in Russia and abroad, and later taught in Moscow. In 1912 she published her memoirs about Nikolay Rubinstein.

Writing in 1874, Tchaikovsky noted that: "Madame Zograf's playing is distinguished by a strong, decidedly manly technique, beauty of tone, and elegant expressivity which is far removed from any affectation. Since her début this young pianist has gone on several important and highly successful concert tours in both Russia and abroad, thereby consolidating her position as one of the most brilliant exponents of virtuoso piano playing of her generation [...] but in all fairness it must be said that since the start of her virtuoso career this talented pianist has not made any progress as an artist. In spite of all the fine qualities of her interpretation, one cannot fail to detect in her playing a certain immaturity, the lack of any distinct musical individuality, and the predominance of dazzling technique over artistic understanding" [1].


In 1870, Tchaikovsky dedicated his piano piece Polka de salon — No. 2 of the Three Pieces, Op. 9 — "à Mademoiselle A. Zograph".

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Notes and References

  1. Tchaikovsky's music review article The First Week of the Concert Season (TH 286), published in the Russian Register, 1 March 1874 [O.S.].