Russian lawyer, writer, and theatre critic (b. 1845; d. 1905); born Lev Abramovich Kupernik (Лев Абрамович Куперник).
A graduate in law from Moscow University, Kupernik first worked as a lawyer in Moscow, then in Odessa and Kiev, acquiring an outstanding reputation as a trial attorney. An active member of the Moscow section of the Russian Musical Society, he married Olga Petrovna Shchepkina (d. 1893), a grand-daughter of the famous serf actor Mikhail Shchepkin (1788–1863). She had studied in the piano class of Nikolay Rubinstein at the Moscow Conservatory from 1870 to 1873, as well as having Tchaikovsky as her teacher of harmony. The couple's daughter Tatyana Shchepkina-Kupernik (1874–1952) would later become a distinguished writer and translator.
During the 1890s Kupernik was also on the management board of the Odessa section of the RMS (where he sought Tchaikovsky's advice on the organisation of musical activities in the city) and contributed reviews of theatre and music to newspapers in Kiev and Odessa, including an interview with the composer from January 1893 entitled Tchaikovsky on Odessa (TH 328).
Correspondence with Tchaikovsky
12 letters from Tchaikovsky to Lev Kupernik have survived, dating from 1875 to 1893, all of which have been translated into English on this website:
- Letter 420 – 26 November/8 December 1875, from Moscow
- Letter 452 – 9/21 March 1876, from Moscow
- Letter 1904 – 1/13 December 1881, from Rome
- Letter 4768 – 10/22 September 1892, from Itter
- Letter 4779 – 7/19 October 1892, from Klin
- Letter 4797 – 4/16 November 1892, from Saint Petersburg
- Letter 4798 – 5/17 November 1892, from Saint Petersburg
- Letter 4848 – mid/late January 1893, from Odessa
- Letter 4886 – 7/19 March 1893, from Moscow
- Letter 4895 – 19/31 March 1893, from Klin
- Letter 4906 – 5/17 April 1893, from Klin
- Letter 4936 – 17/29 May 1893, from London
5 letters from Kupernik to the composer, dating from 1881 to 1893, are preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.