Professor Simon Morrison, the acclaimed author of The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev, will headline the 2013 Prokofiev Festival at Blackheath Halls (21-28 October). Lina gave up her own promising singing career to marry composer Sergei Prokofiev, and led a turbulent and precarious life in the Soviet Union, particularly after Prokofiev abandoned her and their two sons. 2013 also marks the 60th anniversary of Prokofiev's death.
Currently Professor of Music History at Princeton, Professor Morrison is a leading authority on Sergei Prokofiev and will discuss his new book on Lina at a literary evening on 23 October. Professor Morrison was granted exclusive access to the archival files on the couple at the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art in Moscow, including rare documents, photographs and over six hundred intimate personal letters that have never before been seen.
The Festival also features Nonclassical meets Trinity Laban @ Blackheath Halls on 26 October. The groundbreaking classical club night comes south of the river to celebrate the music of both Sergei and Gabriel Prokofiev, and Nonclassical's longstanding relationship with Trinity Laban. This evening's concert features performances by the Elysian Quartet and Trinity Laban student ensembles as well as DJ sets from Sergei's grandson and founder of Nonclassical, Gabriel Prokofiev, Nwando Ebizie and Trinity Laban's Dominic Murcott.
Running for the duration of the festival is an art installation by Sergei and Lina's youngest son Oleg, who fled the Soviet Union in 1971 and made Blackheath his home for a period of time. Oleg gave some interesting talks and interviews on his father during his life, but also carved his own creative path beyond the shadow of his father as an artist, art historian and poet.
Keith Murray, General Manager of Blackheath Halls, said the Prokofiev family's links with Blackheath stretched back many years: "Oleg was a frequent visitor to, and supporter of, Blackheath Halls with the early planning meetings of the Sergei Prokofiev Foundation taking place here. An exhibition of Oleg's work alongside a memorial concert was held after his sudden death that summer; and one of his sculptures, presented by the family, is on permanent display at the Halls."
There will be individual recitals and performances, as well as an enchanting shadow theatre production of one of Prokofiev's most famous works, Peter and the Wolf.
For more information on the Festival and booking, please visit www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/prokofiev
Blackheath Halls is a Grade II listed Victorian building in the middle of Blackheath Village, and is reputedly the oldest purpose built concert hall still in use in South East London. It is a resource for both the local and wider community, offering a wide variety of professional performances, featuring some of the leading names in classical, folk, jazz and world music, as well as comedy nights, children's theatre and literary events. It also has a wide ranging Community Engagement programme, including an annual Community Opera which attracts participants and audiences from across London, and regularly receives excellent reviews.
Blackheath Halls is a subsidiary of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Trinity Laban is the UK's only conservatoire of music and dance. Its innovative course provision, exciting performances and ground breaking education, community and social inclusion work make Trinity Laban a leader in the advancement of elite and creative artistic practice. Trinity Laban fosters the musicians, dancers and artistic leaders of the future, enriching Britain's vibrant cultural life and its creative industries, which are vital to a balanced, diverse economy.
The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev was published by Random House in March 2013, and is the first detailed account of Prokofiev's approach to composition.
Review - "It is unforgettable as a testimony of personal devotion and the dehumanizing power of art…" John Carey, Sunday Times