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B&H publishes works by Russian female composer

(February 2018)

KashperovaPortrait.jpg Boosey & Hawkes is pleased to announce the publishing of works by the forgotten composer Leokadiya Kashperova, known to date only as Stravinsky's piano teacher in St Petersburg but now revealed as one of Russia's earliest and most brilliant female composers of international stature.

International Women's Day 2018 will shine the spotlight on a group of forgotten female composers, including the Russian Leokadiya Kashperova . The concert recording at LSO St Luke's in London on 8 March concludes with Kashperova's Symphony in B minor with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Jane Glover, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. This collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Research Council has seen successful music academics put forward 'forgotten' women composers to be included in the programme of first recordings, presented for radio by Fiona Talkington.

Boosey & Hawkes is launching a new publishing programme for the works of Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940), with new editions making her works available for performance and discovery by modern audiences. The editions are to be created in consultation with Dr Graham Griffiths, Music Research Fellow at City, London University, who has devoted the past five years to studying the composer and her music, working in collaboration with the principal Russian archives in Moscow and St Petersburg. Works which are planned to be included in the publishing programme include Kashperova’s Symphony in B minor (1905), two substantial cello sonatas to be recorded by BBC New Generation Artists and a selection of piano works and song cycles. Griffiths was granted special permission by the Glinka National Consortium of Musical Culture, Moscow, to prepare two choral settings (to texts by Yakov Polonsky) from the composer’s manuscripts; Evening and Night will be recorded and broadcast for the first time by the BBC Singers.

Known primarily as a pedagogue and pianist, Leokadiya Kashperova was also active in St Petersburg as a composer of Romantic songs, chamber music and symphonic works. She had studied composition with Nikolay Solovyov and piano with Anton Rubinstein and was a favoured interpreter of virtuosic new works by Glazunov and her friend Balakirev. She travelled internationally, playing twice at London's Aeolian Hall in 1907, where she attracted positive reviews, as well as performing her own piano concerto in Berlin. She taught Stravinsky for two years from 1899 elevating his piano technique to a professional level which enabled him to re-launch his career in the 1920s as an interpreter of his neoclassical works for piano.

In 1916, at the age of 44, Kashperova married one of her piano students, Sergey Andropov, a twice-arrested and exiled Bolshevik revolutionary, and the couple was forced to flee in the wake of the Russian Revolution, first to the Caucasus in 1918 and then to Moscow. Although nearly all Kashperova's works had been published and performed before the Revolution, not a note of her music was heard following her flight from Petrograd.

Kashperova’s compositions have come to light thanks to the scholarly endeavours of Dr Graham Griffiths, whose book Stravinsky's Piano: Genesis of a Musical Language (CUP, 2013) is the first published account of the creative impact of Kashperova’s teaching upon her piano pupil, Igor Stravinsky. Stravinsky's generally disparaging remarks about his piano teacher led Dr Griffiths to question the teacher-student relationship, revealing that Kashperova was in fact a highly talented and successful composer as well as a pianist-composer: "as soon as I began uncovering Kashperova’s lyrical and beautifully-crafted music I realised that Kashperova had been unjustly overlooked not just by one ungrateful pupil; her considerable achievements had been erased by the misfortunes of History… Truly, I feel that after a century of neglect, this long-forgotten and quite excellent composer thoroughly deserves re-discovery."

Details of the 8 March concert 
> Further information on the composer 





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