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In Search of Leokadiya Kashperova: Musical adventures in Russia Graham Griffiths DPhil (Oxon) Musicology PGCE (Cantab) BMus Hons (Edin) Wednesday 26 June 2019

For a historian, there can be little to match the excitement of discovering a forgotten treasure. Dr Griffiths’s eventful research across Russia to unveil the Romantic figure of Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940), composer and concert pianist (previously known only as ‘Stravinsky’s piano teacher’), offers the perfect example. Kashperova’s re-discovered music establishes her as the earliest-known female Russian composer of international stature. (Rimsky-Korsakov’s affectionate nickname for her was ‘Snow-maiden’.) Kashperova’s lyrical music and Griffiths’s research were selected by BBC Radio 3 and the AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) for inclusion in their 2018 celebration of ‘Five Forgotten Female Composers’. This presentation offers narrative, images and musical performance at the piano (*) illustrating ‘what it takes’ to recover the life and works of a composer whom History has completely forgotten. Until now.

Graham Griffiths:  Lecturer, conductor, pianist, composer. Music Research Fellow (City, University of London). DPhil., Musicology (Christ Church, Oxford, 2008), PGCE (Cambridge), BMusHons (Edinburgh). 

Musical Director Grupo Novo Horizonte de Sao Paulo (featured on BBCR3); lectures, concerts, and recordings (UK, Denmark, Brazil, Russia); Guest of The British Council; University lecturing (UK) at Bath, Bristol, Canterbury (Christchurch), City (London), Oxford.

Author: Stravinsky’s Piano: Genesis of a Musical Language (Cambridge, 2013/2015; ‘Kaschperowa, Leokadiya’ in Instrumentalistinnen-Lexikon-online (Bremen: Sophie Drinker Institut, 2018).

Editor: Stravinsky in Context (Cambridge, 2020); Contributor to The Stravinsky Encyclopedia (Cambridge, forthcoming); Strawinsky Abécédaire (ed. Marie Strawinsky) (Geneva: Editions Slatkine, 2018).

Recordings: Latin American Sacred Music of the 18th and 19th centuries; Brazilian contemporary music; the piano music of L.A.Kashperova.

Composer, film: Voyage of the Vikings: Hurricane! Hurry! (dir. Camille Bontemps: Edwards Films, 2018).

Guest appearances at ‘St Petersburg International Conservatoires Festival’ performing lost works by Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940) re-discovered by Griffiths. This research featured in the BBCRadio3/AHRC celebration Five Forgotten Female Composers on International Women’s Day (8 March 2018). Griffiths’s work has been featured by public service broadcasters in several countries.