Boris Jurgenson

Tchaikovsky Research
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Boris Jurgenson

Music publisher, the son of Pyotr Jurgenson (b. 1868; d. 1935), born Boris Petrovich Yurgenson (Борис Петрович Юргенсон).

Boris was the godson of the composer, who always treated him with paternal affection, and according to the memoirs of his sister Aleksandra Snegireva-Jurgenson: "Strange as it may seem, Boris Petrovich looked like his godfather; this resemblance manifested itself especially in old age. He could easily have played him [Tchaikovsky] on the stage. Their height and build were also quite similar. Pyotr Ilyich was of medium height and rather thin. In terms of his outward appearance he was very much an elegant man" [1].

After graduating in law from Moscow University in 1891, Boris worked in his father's music publishing business in Moscow. He compiled the first thematic catalogue of Tchaikovsky's works in 1897, translated Hugo Riemann's Musiklexikon from German to Russian, and published a number of works on the history of music printing. After Pyotr Jurgenson's death in 1904, Boris took over the management of the firm along with his brother Grigory (1872–1936), and following its nationalisation in 1918, he became the head of the musical section of the State Publishing House.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

10 letters survive from Tchaikovsky to Boris Jurgenson, dating from 1886 to 1893, all of which have been translated into English on this website:

8 letters from Boris Jurgenson to the composer, dating from 1889 and 1891, are preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.

Notes and References

  1. П. И. Чайковский в семье П. И. Юргенсона [P. I. Tchaikovsky in the Family Circle of P. I. Jurgenson] (1980), p. 102.