Author: Jesika Berry

Tchaikovsky: The Life and Modern Legacy of Russia’s Great Composer

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of the most popular composers of all time and produced numerous symphonies, operas, piano concertos, and ballets. The Russian composer’s works can be found today not only in concert halls across the world, but also used in popular culture as recognizable and emotionally affecting pieces. He also remains a constant […]

A Musicologist Recommends Three Russian Operas for You to Watch at the Mariinsky

I was so excited about studying abroad in St. Petersburg because I got the chance to see a lot of Russian operas that are not performed in theaters in the West. As a Russian musicologist, it was wonderful to have excess to the musical performances at the Mariinsky Theaters. Opera is one of the most […]

Peterhof: A Museum of Tsarist Splender Outside St. Petersburg

The Tsars had several summer palaces outside St Petersburg. Peterhof is perhaps the most famous now, and is one of the best maintained and oft-visited. It is one of Russia’s unqiue museum reserves, a whole estate that has been turned into a museum with protected The following are two experiences that SRAS students have had […]

Three Great Soviet Composers of the USSR

The twentieth century was a dynamic period in the history of Russia, including for Soviet composers who often had to work around censorship to create thier great contributions to world music. Under the USSR, artists were expected to produce works that glorified the Communist Revolution and the new lives of the new Soviet masses, often […]

Four Examples of Russian Music in American Popular Culture

 Throughout the Cold War to the present day, there has been tension between the United States and Russia in the political arena. However, Americans have used Russian music in creating elements of American popular culture. Appropriated Russian songs include classical pieces like “The Flight of the Bumblebee,” which is often used to represent speed and […]

Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg

Arts Square in St, Petersburg is the location of the Russian Arts Museum, the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, and the Theater of Music Comedy. Arts Square is also the location of the Mikhailovsky Theater. This theater features the performances of opera and ballet. At the Mikhailovsky Theater, I saw Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballets […]

XVI International Winter Festival in St. Petersburg

The International Winter Festival is an annual musical festival that takes place in December at Arts Square. This year, there were performances and exhibitions by the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, the Mikhailovsky Theater, the Theater of Musical Comedy, the Museum-Monument “St. Isaac’s Cathedral”, and the Russian State Museum. This year the festival celebrated the anniversaries of […]

St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia

Growing up listening to symphonic works of Beethoven, Liszt, and Wagner and being involved with orchestra throughout my musical career, I have developed a deep love for the symphony orchestra. During my time in St. Petersburg, I have mainly viewed musical concerts at the Mariinsky Theaters. Although I have enjoyed all the performances that I […]

Russian Symphonies in St. Petersburg

The Russia School of Classical Music has greatly contributed to the genre of symphonic music. By the beginning of the 20th century, many Western composers were influenced by Russian music. Studying in St. Petersburg, I am glad that I have the opportunity to attend symphonic concerts that feature Russian composers. I have already seen several […]

All Prokofiev Concert in St. Petersburg

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was one the greatest Russian composers who lived during the Soviet Era. Prokofiev composed for many genres (symphonies, operas, ballets) and he composed music for movies, including Sergei Eisenstein’s films Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible. Being a huge fan of Valery Gergiev as a conductor, a musician, and as a music […]

Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra in St. Petersburg

There is nothing I love more than playing in a symphony orchestra. I have performed with an orchestra on the flute, cello, and with a choir. I also enjoy going to concerts where a symphony orchestra is playing. Ever since my dad took me to see the New York Philharmonic as a little girl, I’ve […]

Russian Programmatic Symphonic Works: From Glinka to Tchaikovsky

Russian composers contributed greatly to the genre of programmatic symphonic works. Although many were initially attracted to it by Spanish inspirations, one reason for the genre’s eventual massive popularity was that it gave the composers a popular musical form to incorporate not only native Russian tunes and harmonic structures, but also to focus on other […]