In February of 2016, the LSU School of Music hosted the Symposium on Prokofiev and the Russian Tradition, featuring numerous lectures, workshops and performances of the late composer's works. Below is the event's introductory letter, written by Inessa Bazayev, director and chair of the Symposium Committee.
It is my pleasure to introduce the Symposium on Prokofiev and the Russian Tradition. The Symposium was inspired by the fragments of Prokofiev’s unfinished Piano Concerto No. 6, which will be performed by pianists Michael Gurt and Gregory Sioles. We are grateful to have received exclusive permission from Sergey Prokofiev’s heirs in London and Paris to perform this work. Further, Gabriel Prokofiev (Sergey Prokofiev’s grandson) will be in attendance and will lead a composition workshop, and the University orchestra will also perform his Concerto for the Bass Drum, featuring faculty percussionist Brett Dietz. We are also collaborating with our Department of Dance to premiere Prokofiev’s “Music for Athletes,” a work written for piano and dancers. Finally, pianist Frederic Chiu, who has recorded all of Prokofiev’s piano works, will give a solo concert, as well as lead a piano master class.
The Symposium is a three-day affair with conference papers presentations by delegates from eleven countries, including Russia and Japan, among others. The selection process was very competitive and only thirty-six papers were selected by the program committee. Even though most papers deal with aspects of Prokofiev’s music, compositional process, and theoretical issues, there are several papers that focus on the work of other Soviet composers, including Shostakovich and Schnittke.
We are very honored to have Simon Morrison (Princeton University) and Richard Taruskin (University of California, Berkeley) as our keynote speakers. I’d like to particularly thank Simon for bringing Prokofiev’s unfinished concerto to our attention. I am very grateful to Todd Queen, Dean of Music & Dramatic Arts, for committing to this project and supporting me through this process. The symposium would not have been possible without his unflinching support.
I hope you can attend the Symposium for its engaging papers, innovative concerts, and distinguished invited speakers.