I've heard casually from two different sources that Tchaikovsky may
have conducted a girls' or women's chorus, and might have written a body
of music for that chorus. However, only a few works for female
voices are listed in a catalog of his works, and the many of his
biographies I've consulted fail to confirm this association. Has anyone
any information on this? Were there any prominent female choruses in
Russia in the latter half of the 19th century that whichTchaikovsky might
have had some association?
Sally De Fazio
Tchaikovsky Research : Chorus
for Students of the Patriotic Institute (TH 76)
As per Tchaikovsky Research the composer wrote two choruses for female
chorus...one in 1871 thought to be commissioned by his colleague Karl
Albrecht for his Handbook on Choral Singing....the other in 1880 at
the request of his niece Anna who was studying at the Patriotic Institute
in Moscow.......now lost...other than that Tchaikovsky wrote any number of
choruses for mixed chorus for various occasions...as for his conducting a
female chorus...that I am unaware of.....he only turned to conducting in
the last six years of his life....it was done with hesitation and
trepidation and he never felt comfortable in that position...I for one
have not come across an activity such as you mention...hope this has been
of some help..
I would also like to stress the fact that his conducting chores were
limited to guest conducting in the fields of symphony and opera
performances predominantly and were done to enhance his career and make
his name more widely known...
Thank you, Albert.
And while I imagine that you would have mentioned it if you were aware
of it, let me be more explicit: is there anything known of any type of
association Tchaikovsky had with an all-girls' school?
Sally De Fazio
The Chorus for Students of the
Patriotic Institute (TH 76) mentioned above was written for
Tchaikovsky's niece, Anna, who was a student at the all-girls' school, but
the composer didn't have any direct connection with the establishment.