In this morning’s lecture, Dr Rosamund Bartlett and pianist Maria Levandovskaya take us back to the glory days of imperial St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, highlighting the composers, directors, singers and conductors who helped to build its international reputation. The wonderful music of Russia’s golden period is brought to life in a fascinating morning, illustrated with rare period photographs, set designs and historic recordings and set off with music from Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Glinka amongst others. This exploration of the most glittering period of Russian musical innovation promises to sparkle and delight the audience, enticing us back to the glamour of the imperial era and the creative brilliance that emerged from it.

Rosamund Bartlett

Rosamund Bartlett is a cultural historian of Russia with expertise in music, art, and literature. Her publications include ‘Wagner and Russia’ and ‘Victory Over the Sun: The World’s First Futurist Opera’, as well as biographies of Chekhov and Tolstoy, whose works she has translated for Oxford World’s Classics. She is regularly invited to contribute to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, and to the programmes of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and in 2017 was commissioned by the Salzburg Festival to complete a new translation of the libretto to Shostakovich’s ‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk’.

Sophie Pullen

Winner of the Förderpreis der Stadt Torgau at the Internationale Sängerakademie 2015, Sophie graduated with a Distinction and the Postgraduate Prize for Excellence from Birmingham Conservatoire in 2013. Her recent work includes Musetta (cover) for Clapham Opera Festival, Adina (L’elisir d’amore) for Barefoot Opera, Atalanta (Xerxes) for Hampstead Garden Opera & Haydn’s Paukenmesse with Billingshurst Choral Society. Sophie has sung as a soloist with the OSJ at St John’s Smith Square, King’s Place, Dorchester Abbey, and the Ashmolean Proms, along with song premieres with the Coull Quartet, Vivaldi Gloria at St Martin-in-the-Fields and the roles of Lauretta, Rose Maurrant, Bastienne and Theodora.

Maria Levandovskaya

After moving to London in 2012, Maria received a scholarship from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Martin Roscou and Caroline Palmer. Her coaches were Carole Presland, Paul Roberts, Norico Ogawa, Ralph Gottoni, Vivien Weilerstein. In 2012, Maria founded clarinet/viola/piano trio, Zeitgeist Ensemble. The Tunnell Trust for Young Musicians awarded the Trio a full scholarship to participate in the Island of Coll’s prestigious course of concerts in Scotland in June 2014. The ensemble were also invited to participate in the Wigmore Hall’s Chamber Tots initiative for the 2014/2015 season. Future engagements include recitals in Sweden and London, while continuing her work as an accompanist to vocalists and string players at the Guildhall.