Ann Tracy-Montero: The Deep End of the Gene Pool, through November 17, GSU Sherman Gallery

Vol. IV No. 10   ·   20 October 2000   

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Russian musicians to play and parley at BU

With the help of a $20,000 grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding in New York, several SFA faculty members traveled to Russia in May for the Boston University Musicians’ Days in St. Petersburg. They gave lectures, held master classes, heard their own compositions performed, and interacted with Russian musicians and scholars under the auspices of the Educational Bridge Project. Established and directed by Ludmilla Leibman, SFA assistant professor of music, the project is an informal exchange involving BU and the St. Petersburg Conservatory, designed to help promote musical and pedagogical collaboration between the two
institutions and across the two cultures.


Phyllis Hoffman, director of SFAs music division, (right) gives support to a Russian singing student during a master class at the St. Petersburg Conservatory last spring. Several St. Petersburg musicians and educators are coming to BU as part of an ongoing exchange program. Photo by Ludmilla Leibman

The second half of the Trust for Mutual Understanding grant will allow Russian musicians to visit Boston next week. Five distinguished faculty members from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, joined by the prominent composer Gregory Korchmar, will give a series of presentations and concerts at BU from October 24 to 27 (see schedule).

The participants from the conservatory are Dmitri Chasovitin, vice rector in studies, Larissa Danko, chair of the musicology department, Vladimir Ovcharek, chair of the string department, Georgi Seleznev, chair of the voice department, and Lidia Volchek, director of the preparatory division and director of the Glazunov Concert Hall.

The relationship between SFA and St. Petersburg – not quite an exchange program yet – is ripening and expanding, according to Leibman, an alumna of the conservatory. "We’re getting closer and closer to the people there," she says. "We are developing real ties with faculty, students, and administrators."

At last May’s visit, for example, the SFA participants auditioned Russian musicians aged 13 to 17 for possible acceptance into the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

And following the upcoming visit of the Russian musicians, Leibman says, she would like to see a group of SFA graduate students travel to St. Petersburg and a group of Russians come here. "If the Americans could spend a week at the conservatory and see how Russian students study and live, they would learn so much. SFA and the conservatory are hugely different."

But the main point, she’s quick to point out, "is that we want them to play American and Russian music together."


6 December 2000
Boston University
Office of University Relations