If you an art lover who wants to learn more about your favourite artists and what music and musicians they were inspired by and get the feel of the epoch, our evening programme of events may be a perfect fit for you. The programme of Art Story Soirées (circa 1.5h each & 30min cocktails) will take place on the first Tuesday of the month starting from February 6 at Grace Belgravia (we will miss the April Session given the Easter Break).
“When Art Danced with Music – Ballets Russes, Diaghilev and his Circle” by Dr. Natalia Murray, Sophie Pullen (soprano) & Maria Levandovskaya (piano)
“Francisco de Goya in Love and Song” by Dr Jacqueline Cockburn and Spanish Classical Singers
“Sarah Bernhardt - The Ultimate Femme Fatale” by Dr Justine Hopkins and French Singers
“Music in the art of Kandinsky" Lecturer tbc
6:30-8pm talk & music
For Grace Members: £160 for a block of 4 Soirées or £45 for each
For non-Grace Members: £180 for a block of 4 Soirées or £50 for each
The first talk will be about Sergei Diaghilev who was one of the most important impresarios of the 20th century. The central figure in the artistic world of St. Petersburg, Paris, London, Rome, Berlin and Madrid, he formed close friendship with Stravinsky, Coco Chanel, Prokofiev and Jean Cocteau.
Dr. Natalia Murray will introduce us to Diaghilev as major patron of visual arts, starting with his exhibitions of Western-European art in St. Petersburg and the magazine and artistic movement which he launched in 1898 – Mir Iskusstva [World of Art] and moving on to his most famous enterprise Ballet Russes, which staged seventy ballets and fifteen operas in Europe and America.
During the talk you will hear arias and songs by Tchaikovsky, Rymsky-Korsakov, Gounod and Satie, sung by Sophie Pullen, with illustrations from the piano by Russian pianist, Maria Levandovskaya who will also play Prokofiev’s piano pieces.
In the West Diaghilev strived to present Russians not as fellow Europeans, but as new oriental people, which made his enterprise much more interesting and exciting in the West. Many extraordinary pieces of music were composed especially for Ballet Russes at Diaghilev’s request and he often collaborated with Russian as well as French composers.
Dr Natalia Murray is a lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art teaching 19-20 century Russian art. She recently curated a blockbuster exhibition ‘Revolution. Russian Art. 1917-1932’ at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2017 and she is currently editing her next book on post-revolutionary festivals in St Petersburg.