Tsvetaeva and Music

// 19.09.2017

Club Hudson Soirees & Pushkin Society in America

Saturday, October 14th, 2017, 4:30 p.m.   

       Opening reception and exhibition: 3:30 p.m. 

A commemorative evening, dedicated to the 125th anniversary of an iconic Russian poet. Emotional, musical- lyrical image of Marina Tsvetaeva will be recreated with poetry readings, piano and vocal performances and exhibitions.

Performers: Inna Yesilevsky, Di Zhu, Nataliya Medvedovskaya, Dina Nesterenko, Zoya Gramagin

Performed in English and Russian

National Opera Center: 330 7th Avenue New York, NY 10001

Tickets: $25, For tickets and reservations, please call: (732) 668-5848 Olga

For more information on this and other events, please visit our website: www.hudsonsoirees.org


Poems and narration                                               Di Zhu (English)

Inna Yesilevskaya (Russian)

R.Schumann                                                           Nataliya Medvedovskaya, piano

Fantasy Pieces, op.73                                             Dina Nesterenko, violin


Mazurkas, op.25 No.2 and No.3’                             Nataliya Medvedovskaya, piano

  1. Medvedovskaya

Thriptych based on poems by Tsvetaeva ( Satnzas, In my Great City, Thy Name)

Zoya Gramagin, soprano


Neither stanzas nor stars will save me.

This is a reprisal

For every time when,

Straightening my back above a stubborn line,

I looked only for stars, not eyes

Above my ample brow–

Accepting your unflagging rule on faith,

Not even one minute, O my fair Eros,

Was laid to waste without you–

At night, amid the solemn mists,

I never asked for lips, only rhymes

From the lovely red lips.

This is a reprisal for having been like snow

Before the most vicious judges, for the unending apotheosis

Beneath my left breast.

Face to face with the budding East

I looked only for dawns, never roses

Upon my ample brow.

Translated from Russian by Nina Kossman

In My Great City

(from the cycle “Insomnia”)


In my great city it is now-night.

I’m leaving this dormient house-right.

And people think I am a wife in white.

My hectic brain has but one dream-night.


The July wind is sweeping my dark way,

And somewhere music in a flat-rings,

The breeze will blow till comes the new day

Through gentle barriers of my breast-stings.


That’s a black poplar and the gleam’s faint,

And there are tower bells, and on my hand-paint,

I feel that I can but one step-skate:

I’m just a shadow-poor is my fate.


The lights are lenient like purled gold,

And with my tongue I taste a leaf cold.

From husk of day I have how to unfold,

So understand that I’m your dream-make bold.


July 17, 1916

Translated by Alexey Mikhailovin


Thy Name

(From the “Verses to Alexander Blok”cycle)

Thy name is a bird in my hand,

Thy name is a foot of land.

Just a little one movement of lips,

Five letters, five sighs, five tongue-skips.

A ball which is caught on the wing,

A swallowed silver ring.


A stone cast into the lake

Will quietly sob and become your namesake.

In a light clicking of nightly hooves

The wild hurricane thy holy name moves.

And the pistol with an iron ball

With the temple like tinklies call.


Thy name is-but I must not!-

Thy name is a kiss on the eyes-my lot-

A kiss that is sent to motionless lids.

Thy name is a kiss to snowy meads.

A blue and frosty gulp that can seep,

With thy crystal name so deep is sleep.

April 15, 1916

Translated by Alexey Mikhailovin

Marina Tsvetaeva was born on September 26th, 1892. When Marina Tsvetaeva’s mother gave birth to a girl – instead of the boy she had so fervently wanted – she consoled herself with the thought, “At least she’ll be a musician.”

She learned to play the piano according to her mother’s wishes, but eventually the notes slipped off the score and her fingers began to compose incandescent poems.

She lived by and for poetry. “Between word and action, art and life, for her there was no comma, no hyphen; Tsvetaeva put the equals sign between the two,” wrote Nobel-winning poet and author Joseph Brodsky. It was through her daily writing, on a table free of papers, accompanied by a cup of tea and a cigarette, that Tsvetaeva translated the sounds of a unique world, be it in the form of poems, essays, plays, prose or the hundreds of letters that seduced those who read or received them.

Tsvetaeva wrote about love in all its intensity, and her poems could be raw and confessional, about love known and unknowable: ”But my river, with your river/My hand, with your hand never/May meet, my joy, while ever/ Dawn and dusk are apart,”

Marina Tsvetaeva lived in a strange, turbulent era, which she protested in vain. That strange world would hurt her deeply. “I hate my century because it is the century of organized masses, which are no longer a free element.”

Thanks to the success of “Evening Album” (1912), her first book of self-published poems, she fell in with the cultural circles of Moscow, where all the artists and intellectuals followed some avant-garde movement. Tsvetaeva admired many of the contemporary poets of the time, especially Aleksandr Blok, Osip Mandelstam, Anna Akhmatova, and Vladimir Mayakovsky, to whom she dedicated numerous poems.

When her husband Sergei Efron decided to fight the Bolsheviks in the ranks of the White Army, the revolution brutally changed the course of Marina’s life and caused similar upheaval for those close to her. Marina stayed alone in Moscow, taking care of her two young daughters. “Who should I give the soup to, Alia (Ariadna) or Irina?” We are shocked to read in one of her journals.

In 1919, she sent the girls to the Kuntsevo orphanage, on the outskirts of Moscow, and a few months later, tragedy struck. Ariadna was sent home ill with malaria and Irina died of starvation at the orphanage. In 1920, at the age of 27, Marina was living on the brink. She then began a desperate search for her husband. On March 11th, 1922, with her daughter Ariadna, she left Russia for Berlin, where she was reunited with Sergei Efron. Two months later, the family moved to Prague, where her husband obtained a university scholarship and Marina received a small subsidy from the Czechoslovakian government. In Czechoslovakia, Marina was the happiest and most creative she had ever been.

The couple’s third child, Georgy, nicknamed Mur, was born on February 1st, 1925. The family would live in exile in France for nearly 17 years before returning to the Soviet Union. (During this time, many accused Efron of working for the NKVD secret service abroad.) Most of Tsvetaeva’s work, both prose and poetry, was written during this period. However, it was difficult for her to publish because of her apolitical stance. As of the 1930s, Tsvetaeva seriously doubted whether her writing would have a readership. Her work was unknown abroad as well as in Russia.

Tsvetaeva’s return to the Soviet Union on June 18, 1939, proved to be her death sentence. Ariadna and Sergei were arrested and many of her friends likewise suffered the horror of Stalin’s regime. The poet stopped writing, and this was her moral suicide. Months later, her son Mur found her hanged at their house in Elabuga. She had left him a note: “…I am madly in love with you… Tell Papa and Alia – if you see them – that I loved them up to the very last moment and explain to them that I ran into a dead-end street.” Marina Tsvetaeva died on August 31, 1941, but her poems live on, and in recent decades have found new readers around the world.




Inna Yesilevskaya, actor, director, producer.

Inna Yesilevskaya – Graduated from The Kazan Theater School and has performed at the Ivanovo Regional Theater and Saratov Academic Theater in Russia.

Her stage credits in New York include few seasons

with Steps Theater performing in «Last Summer in Chulimsk» (A. Vampilov) – Zina, «Panohka» (N. Sandur) – Khveskа, «Enemies – the story of

love» (Zinger) – Tamara.

She is also an actor with the Literary Theater Dialogue where her roles include «Dark Alleys» – Irina, «The candle was burning»» – a muse, «In the mirrors» – Anna Akhmatova, and others

She has performed in various productions of the Haverim Theater. Her Metropolitan Opera appearances include “Nose”,” Boris Godunov”, “LULU”, “Anna Bolena” , “Roberto Devereux” and “Norma”. Inna is a lead actor of the Rustem Galitch Theater of Poetry and Music in New York City, USA. The production of “The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish” is her independent directing and acting project. Цветаева- любимый поэт Инны, и она счастлива принять участие в сегодняшнем проекте.

Di Zhu is an actress, pianist and the Managing Director at The Russian Arts Theater and Studio. The Grand Prize Winner of the Inaugural International New York Piano Competition, Di’s piano performances have been featured nationally on PBS, as well as WXXI and WQXR. As an actress, Di has appeared in many stage productions, most recently as Margarita in The Master and Margarita, Or, The Devil Comes to Moscow. Select theater credits

include Three Sisters (New York Chekhov Festival), Crime and Punishment (West End Theater), Avenue of Wonder (Balcony

Theater), The Beekeeper’s Daughter (Theater For a New City), Another Life (TFNC and RADA Festival, London) Extreme Whether (TFNC and Cherry Lane Theater), Lady With a Lapdog, With Jokes and a Happy Ending (Assistant Director, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey), Billy Bob

Boils the Sea (Ordu, Turkey) and Uncle Vanya (Stanton Street Shul). Film/ TV include Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Amoral and NBC’s The Blindspot.

 Nataliya Medvedovskaya is an award-winning composer, concert pianist, and songwriter, whose compositions are hailed as “significant, amazing, dramatic” (Los Angeles Times). Nataliya’s piano performances are noted for their “brilliance, dexterity and incredible dynamic control” (New York Stringer Magazine). A graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Russia, with a double major in composition and piano performance, she moved to New York City in 2003. She won First Prize at the 1995 International Composers’ Competition of the Gartow Foundation (St. Petersburg, Russia); Second Prize as a composer at the International Competition “Golden Channukia”(Berlin, 2005); “Best Classical Composition” and “Best Instrumentalist” from Indie Music Channel (Hollywood, 2015); Honorable Mention in the 14th  Billboard Song Contest; Honorable Mention in the 2007 “Song of the Year” International Song Contest; Honorable Mention in the 11th Unisong International Song Contest; Honor Award at the 2006 Great American Song Contest; and Honorable Award for musicality and deep understanding of music at the “Young Virtuosi” International Piano Competition (Chechia, 1989), among others.

Nataliya recently had a World Premiere of her orchestral piece called, “Red Revolution in the Air” performed by Siberian State Symphony Orchestra in Russia (Krasnoyarsk, 2017). She had a World Premiere of her commissioned  2-hour length orchestral ballet based on the “Adventures of Nils” fairytale (Maryland, 2014). Her String Quartet # 1 was performed  by St. Petersburg Quartet at Mohawk Trial Concerts (MA, 2006), Summer Mountain Festival (2005), Edinburgh Festival of Art, Music, and Animation (Scotland, 1997) as well as in Yale University, Merkin Hall and many other concert venues throughout USA and abroad. The piece was broadcast by WQXR internationally and honorably acclaimed in the Washington Post, LA Times, “St. Paul Edition”, “Kalamazoo Gazette”, and “Charleston Daily Mail”.   Nataliya’s “First Snow”  for oboe, bassoon, violin and piano was performed by Poulenc Trio at the “Wall to Wall Behind the Wall” International Festival (Symphony Space, NY, 2010), An Die Music Series (MD, 2009), and was broadcast by “Classial Music Discovery” radiostation (2015). Her String Quartet # 2 was performed  at Albuquerque Music Festival (NM, 2007), in the Museum of Fine Arts (FL, 2007), and at the Chamber America Conference (New York, NY, 2007).  Her humorous “Pantomimes” suite for clarinet and piano was premierred at the International Clarinet Convention (GA, 2006). In 2004 she composed and recorded three soundtracks for the American Film “I Will Avenge You, Iago!”. She was recently chosen to be a part of the Society of Composers and Lyricists’s  prestigious New York Film Program.

Her piano performances were favorably reviewed at www.nyconcertreview.com and in New York Stringer Magazine. She played a piano part of 21 Rachmaninoff songs for mezzo-soprano and piano on a Mapleshade Records CD-release (2006). She is playing concerts  in Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Bargemusic, Steinway Piano Center, Bechstein Pianos, Liederkranz Concert Hall, Di Menna Center for classical music, Tenri Cultural Institute, National Opera Center, and other venues. She plays as a soloist and ensemblist at the “Master Works” and “Here and Now” concert series in Bargemusic.

Russian-born violinist Dina Nesterenko established herself in the early years of her career as a winner of numerous competitions and as a frequent soloist with the orchestras

throughout Russia. In 1995 Ms. Nesterenko won the Second prize in the Kloster Schontal International Competition

(Germany), where she was also awarded the “Virtuoso” special prize. In 1997 she won the First prize in Classica Nova International Competition (Hannover, Germany), dedicated to Dmitri Shostakovich.

In 1998, after winning the Second prize in All – Russia National Violin Competition (First prize was not awarded), Ms. Nesterenko was honorably selected to represent Russia in 1998 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, where she was a semi-finalist and also the youngest participant.

Her most recent achievements and engagements include: participation in the Marlboro Music Festival in the summers of 2010 and 2011, where she had several successful performances; solo performance of Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 with Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra with the conductor David Lawton (December, 2010); winning Cosmo and Bauno International Competition which resulted in Weill Recital Hall performance (December, 2009); Claude and Pamela Frank workshop “Finding the voice in Beethoven and Schubert”, hosted by Carnegie Hall, which gave и her the opportunity to perform Beethoven Sonata op. 96 in Weill Recital Hal(December, 2008); solo appearance with Rockaway Five Town Symphony orchestra in Long Island, NY; Alice Tully Hall performances of Sonatas by Corelli and Couperin (2003, 2004).

Ms. Nesterenko holds her Graduate and Undergraduate degrees from the Juilliard School and an Undergraduate Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music. She holds a Doctorate Degree in Violin Performance from Stony Brook University

Soprano Zoya Gramagin, has been praised for her beautiful, vibrant voice with characteristically warm Slavic colors, while maintaining a very Italianate sound. The Petersburg-Concert (Saint Petersburg, Russia) called her a “true Verdian soprano, [with] fascinating richness of the voice and fiery musicality.” Following a recent performance at the Lowell House Opera at Harvard University in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, the Boston Musical Intelligencer said: “The show was carried by excellent music- making. Zoya Gramagin as Liza achieved [a] major-league success…” Her most recent appearance was as guest artist at the annual Sergio Franchi Memorial Gala where she “wowed the crowd” of 4,000 with her “thrilling” interpretation of “Un bel di…”

Zoya debuted at a very early age with the famous Russian ensemble of soloists “Cantabile.” Soon after, she was recognized at the Feodor Chalyapin Voice Competition where she won First Prize. Since 2003, Zoya has performed numerous concerts and recitals in the United States, Russia, and Europe. In May 2015 she made her Carnegie Hall debut singing Amelia (Un Ballo in Maschera) in a NYLO Gala. Past performances include Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with Manhattan Opera Studio and Liza with the Moscow Contemporary Symphony Orchestra. In concert, she has appeared as a soloist in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, and Handel’s Messiah.

Zoya received her music education at the Tchaikovsky Music School in Moscow and the Mannes School of Music-The New School in New York City, where she currently resides with her family. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and a Master of Arts in Marketing. Using her musical, artistic, and organizational skills, Zoya founded and serves as Artistic Director of Lyric Seasons,.Currently Zoya is preparing the role of Butterfly for a new production (not yet officially announced) during the 2019-2020 season. This coming season will see her in concert with orchestra performing Richard Strauss’ “Vier Letze Lieder” and Mahler’s 8th

В празднование 125-летнего юбилея со дня рождения Марины Цветаевой литературно- музыкальный клуб «Вечера на Гудзоне» совместно с Пушкинским обществом Америки представят литературно- музыкальную композицию. Стихи, а также отрывки из эссе «Мать и музыка» вы услышите на русском и английском языках в исполнении Инны Есилевской и Ди Жу. Произведения Скрябина, Шумана, вокальные произведения на стихи Цветаевой прозвучат в исполнении композитора и пианистки Натальи Медведовской, певицы Зои Грамагин и скрипачки Дины Нестеренко.

Моим стихам, написанным так рано, Что и не знала я, что я — поэт, Сорвавшимся, как брызги из фонтана, Как искры из ракет,

Ворвавшимся, как маленькие черти, В святилище, где сон и фимиам, Моим стихам о юности и смерти, — Нечитанным стихам! —

Разбросанным в пыли по магазинам (Где их никто не брал и не берет!), Моим стихам, как драгоценным винам, Настанет свой черед.

Высеченные в камне на одном из зданий в нидерландском городе Лейден, эти стихи подтверждают гениальное пророчество Марины Цветаевой. Да, у литературного наследия Цветаевой трудная судьба: не понятая при жизни, запрещенная или просто замалчиваемая после трагической гибели, сложная и по сей день для понимания.

Участников вечера вдохновило цветаевское: Госпожу свою- музыку- славлю!

Эти строки и стали эпиграфом вечера.