As a distant cousin of Stanislav Blumenfeld, I am also interested in what
happened to Georges-Leon Tchaikovsky,
what was his life's work and did he come to the U.S.?
Felix and Sigismund and Stanislav Blumenfeld had four other siblings, a
boy named Josef and three girls, all musicians, one of whom, Olga (c.1859-1937),
was the mother of Heinrich Neuhaus, the teacher of Sviatoslav Richter and
Emil Gilels; the others were Joanna and Maria. Their mother was a Szymanowski,
so the composer Karol Szymanowski was their cousin.
I have not been able to find anything on the internet regarding this
nephew of Tchaikovsky....but I do remember in the 1940's an interview
given by the then commentator for the NY Philharmonic broadcasts Deems
Taylor and Georgi which had been recorded in the 1930's...so apparently
Georgi had emigrated to the USA....you may want to check the archives of
the Philharmonic during the stay of Deems Taylor for further clues....the
Tchaikovsky Research under Georgi Nikolaevich Tchaikovsky doesn't provide
information beyond the life of the composer...
New York Philharmonic:
I have contacted the N Y Philharmonic Archives....they will look for it
and see if they can find that broadcast....I will know in a week or so if
I can hear it or perhaps get a transcript of the Deems Taylor
broadcast....if I do get a chance to hear it I will inform you of the
result....Georgi died in 1940 at the age of 57....
There is some information about Georgii Tchaikovsky and his father in
the autobiography written by Georgii's cousin Galina von Meck (1891–1985).
Here are the relevant passages from As I Remember Them (London,
"At this time [ca. 1882] the Davydovs had a young music master, Mr
[Stanislav] Blumenfeld, who was extremely good looking and charming. […]
My aunt Tatiana fell in love with Mr Blumenfeld and he fell madly in
love with her. I should add that she was extremely beautiful. One day my
grandparents found out that she was pregnant. Tatiana was sent abroad,
and her son, Georg, was born in Paris. His young mother could not come
back to her father's estate with an illegitimate baby, so the eldest of
the Tchaikovsky brothers [Nikolai], a mining engineer, adopted him and
brought him up as his son. I remember him very well, both as a boy and
then later as a young man. Georg knew that Tatiana was his real mother.
He always had a portrait of her on his desk. He studied in Moscow and
became a mining engineer. Georg married a charming girl who was also an
illegitimate child. The two illegitimates emigrated to Italy after the
Revolution, settled there and Georg died there. I do not know what
happened later to their son. […] Tatiana seems to have taken the
decision never to see Blumenfeld again after she left for Paris to give
birth to her baby. But she never forgot him. He was her real and only
love…" (p. 24)
I hope very much that Mr Gasparo is successful in getting access to
that interview with Georgii from the 1930s as this might be able to
clarify whether Galina von Meck was right in saying that he remained in
Italy until his death, or whether he emigrated again from Italy to
This is the answer I received from the NY Philharmonic
Archives....regrettably the information I provided him was not enough to
go by....I answered him by saying it was probably at a performance of a
Tchaikovsky work such as the Fifth or Sixth Symphonies or perhaps the
First Piano Concerto...if that is of no help to him then I'm afraid that's
as far as I can go with this...yet I distinctly remember that it was a
rebroadcast from the thirties....
"I am sorry to say that I have looked through all of our Radio
scripts between 1945 and 1950, and did not find the interview that you
are referring to. It is strange that this interview would have aired
during this time period, as all of the intermission features I came
across during these years were done mostly live and on-sight. If you can
find the exact date of the broadcast, or remember what the repertoire
was on this program, then I might be able to locate and listen to the
tape, but without the program information listening to the tapes would
be a real shot in the dark, as we do not generally keep a catalogue of
the intermission features on the reels."
His answer when I asked him if he would have more success by looking up
under all Tchaikovsky programs for that period..
"This occurred to me as well during my search and I checked all the
all-Tchaik programs. I also looked back to 1933-34 on the programs
commemorating the 40th anniversary of Tchaikovsky’s death and no luck
there. As T. was so popular during the 40s and 50s, his repertoire shows
up more often than not, so it is not terribly useful to refine the
search by him as a composer. The most frequent commentator after Deems
Taylor was Jimmy Fassett in the 50s."
and so we will leave it like that.....
We are pleased to announce the publication, in the
People section, of an
article on Georgii
Tchaikovsky by Valerii Sokolov which documents in detail what is known
of the life of Tchaikovsky’s nephew and godson. Valerii Sokolov, a
composer and pianist who studied in Aram Khachaturian’s class at the
Moscow Conservatory, is currently Musical Director of the Moscow Gorky Art
Theatre. He is also a leading Tchaikovsky scholar whose book Antonina
Tchaikovskaia. The Story of a Forgotten Life (Moscow, 1994) to this
day remains one of the most important contributions to the field,
enriching our understanding of some of the key events in Tchaikovsky’s
life, as well as vindicating the memory of a woman who was ill-treated
both in her lifetime and by posterity.
Its interesting that in giving us a pretty detaled account about
Georgii up to the revolotion and beyond, that the author Valerii Sokolov
loses tract of that time in the nineteen thirties where Georgii is already
living in New York....which would give some foundation that I had heard of
a recording of an interview givien between Georgi and commentator of the
New York Philharmonic Deems Taylor a that time....this replayed interviiew
as I heard it would have taken place between somewhere between 1946 and
1951..From what we know Georgi died in 1940...
Naturally i recall non of the conversation...During the same time
period Wagners grand childrend were also given an interview.
Comment was also given of their youfulness..This was after the
war.....Perhaps one with more determination and motivation will some day
go in the Philharmonic Archives and break this mystery for us.....