Memory Score, a history
and music project

The year of 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the Leningrad performance of Dmitry Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony. The performance of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony in besieged Leningrad on August 9, 1942 is a unique fact in the world’s musical culture, as well as a major socio-political event during World War 2. The symphony was played in the Philharmonic Grand Hall by the Leningrad Radio Committee Orchestra, conducted by Karl Eliasberg. In a way the performance was a final chord in the symphony’s long tour around Russia’s regions, where the Leningrad Philharmonia was evacuated, and the capital cities of the USSR’s allies in World War 2. Kuibyshev and Moscow, Tashkent and Novosibirsk, London and New York… The timeline of historic events brings together generations, and the documents of the past days, artefacts and research materials recreate a polyphonic canvas – the Memory Score.

The Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia has launched the Memory Score project to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the siege premiere of the Seventh symphony.

To commemorate the 80th Anniversary of Shostakovich’s Seventh symphony performance in Leningrad

On the memorial day of the complete lifting of the Blockade of Leningrad the Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia announces the launch of the new project – the Memory Score, dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the performance of the legendary Seventh symphony, which later was called the Leningrad symphony.

The performance of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony is a unique fact in the world’s musical culture, as well as a major socio-political event during World War 2.  The premiere of the Seventh in besieged Leningrad on August 9, 1942 by the Leningrad Radio Committee Orchestra conducted by K.I. Eliasberg has been rightly called “the first volleys at Berlin”.

The project aims to preserve the historical memory of one of the most significant cultural events during World War II and to strengthen the image of the Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia as a creator of true spiritual values in today’s sociocultural milieu, as well as to improve the interregional connections in the musical, historical and museum communities through cross-sectoral cooperation.

The project consists of three parts: an scientifi conference, a memorial exhibition, and a key event – the concert of the Philharmonia Academic symphony orchestra – the former Big symphony orchestra of the Leningrad Radio Committee orchestra – to be held in the Grand Philharmonic Hall on 9 August 2022.

An Scientific Conference dedicated to the cultural memory of the Leningrad Symphony will take place on August 9, 2022, bringing together WWII historians and researchers, musicologists, archivists, museum professionals, and cultural memory experts from all over Russia. The key topics will cover the performance of the Seventh Symphony during the war and its reverberations, the memorialization of the event, uncovered documents regarding the preparations for and premieres of symphony performances in Soviet Russia and abroad, and contemporary reflections on this memorable event. Information Letter

The exhibition in the Grand Hall’s area, which will open on August 9, 2022, will feature the unique collection of exhibits, many of which have never been on the show before: the original symphony score, Shostakovich’s personal letters, musicians’ personal possessions and instruments, K. Eliasberg’s belongings, as well posters, photographs, letters, etc. – everything related to the symphony performances in Kuybyshev, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Tashkent, London, New York, and, of course, in Leningrad. It is this Leningrad performance that will take centre stage in the exhibition. Thus, the exhibition will recreate the historic and informational environment for the unique event in the global musical landscape – the first performance of the Leningrad symphony in the besieged city.

The project also includes the publication of an illustrated monograph under the project’s name, the parts of which will be devoted to the geography of the Seventh’s performances and the social and political resonance the event had in our country and abroad. The book will also specify the place the Leningrad symphony by Shostakovich takes in our cultural and historic memory.

The final event of the day will be a concert by the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, former the Leningrad Radio Committee Orchestra, to be held in the Philharmonia’s Grand Hall. The performance of the Seventh Symphony will be broadcast live over the Internet and on the radio. This is our tribute to the heroic deed of Leningrad’s creative intelligensia who carried through hunger, cold and bombardments the undefeatable power of art.

The project was conceived and is curated by Dr. Julia Kantor, Doctor of Historical Sciences and Deputy Director and Chief Researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ St. Petersburg Institute of History.


09
august, 2022
tue

The Exhibition

The exhibition in the Grand Hall’s area, which will open on August 9, 2022, will feature the unique collection of exhibits, many of which have never been on the show before: the original symphony score, Shostakovich’s personal letters, musicians’ personal possessions and instruments, K. Eliasberg’s belongings, as well posters, photographs, letters, etc. – everything related to the symphony performances in Kuybyshev, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Tashkent, London, New York, and, of course, in Leningrad. It is this Leningrad performance that will take centre stage in the exhibition. 

09
august, 2022
tue

The International Scientific Conference

Dedicated to the cultural memory of the Leningrad Symphony will take place on August 9, 2022, bringing together WWII historians and researchers, musicologists, archivists, museum professionals, and cultural memory experts from all over Russia and the former Soviet Union, as well as from Great Britain, USA, Germany, and Finland.

Historic and Musical Project "Memory Score"
Scientific Conference

"The Leningrad Symphony: History, Geography, Reflexion"
dedicated to the 80 th anniversary of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony performance

Programme

09.30 - 10.00 - Registration

10.00 - 10.20 - Welcome and opening address

I.S. Cherkasov, Director, The D.D. Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia

Y.Z. Kantor, Curator of the Memory Score Project, Doctor of History Plenary

10.20 - 10.40 Roman Nasonov, PhD in Art History, Associate Professor, Chair of World Music History, the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, Associate Professor, Chair of Interdisciplinary Educational Programmes, the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences (Moscow)

The Leningrad or the Liturgical? Regarding the conception of the Seventh symphony and its musical and historic contexts

10.40 - 11.00 Larisa Miller, Head of the Manuscript Research Department, Music Library of the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg Conservatory (St. Petersburg)

Text sources of Shostakovich's Seventh symphony - to the work's creative history

11.00 - 11.20 - Evgeny Malinkin, PhD in History, Head of the Archives Document Department, Samara Regional State Archives of the Social and Political History (Samara)

Shostakovich's Seventh symphony and its role in the cultural connections among the USSR, USA and Great Britain. From the NKID (People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs) documents and Egosources

11.20 - 11.40 Yulia Kantor, Doctor of History, Deputy Director, Chief Researcher, St. Petersburg Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor, Herzen University (St. Petersburg)

Eliasberg's orchestra. The hidden voice

11.40 - 12.00 - Discussion

12.00 - 12.20 - Coffee-break

Section 1. Performances of the Seventh in the Soviet Union (Moderator: E. Petrovsky)

12.20 - 12.40 Vyacheslav Mosunov, PhD in History, Senior Reseacher, Russian Railway Museum (St. Petersburg)

The Symphony before the storm: the war situation around Leningrad in early August 1942: the parties' plans and commanders' decisions

12.40 - 13.00 Olesya Bobrik, PhD in Art History, Associate Professor, the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, Researcher at the Archives, the Note Library of the Bolshoi Theatre, Senior Researcher, the State Institute for Art Studies (Moscow)

Salute from the Moscow trombonists, or the History of the world's premiere of Shostakovich's Seventh's symphony in its first performers' autographs

13.00 - 13.20 Maria Karachevskaya, Musicologist, PhD in Art History, Deputy Head, Department of IT and IT Security, the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, Conservatory Website Editor (Moscow)

Moscow premiere of Shostakovich's Seventh symphony: the unknown materials

13.20 - 13.40 Ravilya Khisamutdinova, Doctor of History, Professor, Head, Chair of General History and Methods of Teaching History and Social Sciences, Orenburg State Pedagogical University (Orenburg)

The unknown pages of performing Shostakovich's Seventh symphony in the Chkalov (Orenburg) region and preserving historic memory

13.40 - 13.55 - Discussion

13.55 - 14.15 Marina Dubrovskaya, Doctor of Art History, Professor, Chair of Musical Education, the Glinka Novosibirsk State Conservatory Elena Tarasevich, IV Year Student, the Faculty of Theory and Composition, the Glinka Novosibirsk State Conservatory (Novosibirsk)

The Leningrad symphony by D.D. Shostakovich in Novosibirsk: new sources

14.15 - 14.35 Konstantin Golodyaev, Researcher, the Novosibirsk Museum (Novosibirsk)

The premiere of the Seventh "Leningrad" symphony in Novosibirsk: the oral history materials

14.35 - 14.55 Olga Bukharkina, Head of the Documentation Department, the Kler Sverdlov Regional Local History Museum (Ekaterinburg)

About the history of the first performance of Shostakovich's Seventh symphony in Sverdlovsk in 1942: unknown museum and archives materials

14.55 - 15.15 Evgeniy Petrovsky, Deputy Art Director, the Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia (St. Petersburg)

The Seventh by Shostakovich as an outstanding musical placard and an unwitting victim of the "Dutch Syndrome". From the history of philharmonic performances

15.15 - 15.30 - Discussion

Section 2. The World Performances of the Seventh and Memorialization Issues (Moderator: B. Kovalev)

12.20 - 12.40 Boris Kovalev, Doctor of History, Professor, Chief Researcher, St. Petersburg Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences (Veliky Novgorod)

The reaction to Shostakovich's creative work in the collaborationist press on the occupied USSR territories

12.40 - 13.00 Yulia Moshnik, PhD in History, Science Secretary, Vyborg United Museum- Reserve (Vyborg)

The Scandinavian premiere of the Seventh symphony: breach of neutrality and a step for Finland to withdraw from the war

13.00 - 13.20 Svetlana Shchegolikhina, PhD in History, Associate Professor, Chair of General History, Institute of History and Social Sciences, Herzen University (St. Petersburg)

The symphony which changed the mindset: American perception of Shostakovich's Leningrad symphony

13.20 - 13.40 Dmitry Astashkin, PhD in History, Associate Professor, Senior Researcher, St. Petersburg Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences (Veliky Novgorod)

Shostakovich and the perception of the Leningrad siege during World War II in Australia

13.40 - 13.55 Discussion

13.55 - 14.15 Irina Mamonova, PhD in Art History, Associate Professor, Chair of IT in Arts and Humanities, St. Petersburg State University, Faculty of Arts (St. Petersburg)

"The Leningrad symphony" in visual arts: the image of the city, the image of the composer, images of Leningraders

14.15 - 14.35 Pavel Dmitriev, PhD in Art History, Head, Music Library of the Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia (St. Petersburg)

The history of a photograph. Of those behind the scenes

14.35 - 14.55 Nadim Aidarov, PhD in Art History, Staff Member, Institute of Theatre and Choreography, Herzen University (St. Petersburg)

The Leningrad premiere of Shostakovich's Seventh symphony. A family history

14.55 - 15.15 Irina Karpenko, PhD in History, Science Secretary, Museum of the History of St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg) 

"We should not dwell on those central figures only who prepared and performed the feat". Memorialization of the Seventh symphony in Leningrad during 1950-1970

15.15 - 15.30 - Discussion



Project partners

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Information partners of the project

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