Confidientially, Chaikovski This Sunday!
We’re just a few days away from a Chamber Music PLUS show about one of the most beloved of all composers, and the most intense relationship of his life.
Nadezhda Philaretovna von Meck was a wealthy Russian widow of 45 when she first heard Tchaikovsky’s music, appropriately a symphonic fantasy called The Tempest. Overwhelmed by the beauty of the work, she decided to use part of her large fortune to support the composer, who was 36 at the time. Thus ensued a vast correspondence between the two, stretching from 1876 to 1890, when von Meck stopped sending Tchaikovsky money, for reasons that remain obscure.
She steadfastly refused to meet the composer (a refusal with which he was in agreement), though they did occasionally make eye contact at concerts or at the opera house. Once they even came face-to-face in the street, but both turned away, embarrassed.
In 1893, three years after his last letter to Nadezhda von Meck, Tchaikovsky died from cholera. Within three months his “Beloved Friend,” too, was dead.
Their extraordinary correspondence is the basis of the next Chamber Music PLUS production, Confidentially, Chaikovski. Author/cellist Harry Clark blames the nonstandard spelling of the composer’s name on the Library of Congress; he’ll probably justify it, and offer lots of other tidbits, in his pre-performance talk starting 30 minutes before the show.
That performance is slated for this Sunday, Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. at the Berger Center for the Performing Arts, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. (on the campus of the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind). Harry Clark and Sanda Schuldmann will play music for cello and piano by Tchaikovsky and other like-minded composers. Tchaikovsky and von Meck will be portrayed by Richard Thomas and Michael Learned, performing together for the first time since The Waltons. This could be our most in-demand show of the season, so obtain your tickets now by calling 400-5439. You can find out more about the show and its featured performers, and order tickets online, here.
And remember–our subscribers can always purchase additional tickets for $30, which is 25-percent off the single-ticket price!