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Georgii Tchaikovsky

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.

Arthur Bloomfield
27/01/2011 06:02

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' apparently Georgi had emigrated to the 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...

Albert Gasparo
27/01/2011 22:45

New York Philharmonic: Archives

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....

Albert Gasparo
28/01/2011 18:17

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, 1973):

"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 America.

Luis Sundkvist
08/02/2011 12:44

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."

Albert Gasparo
10/02/2011 20:52

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.....

Albert Gasparo
14/02/2011 21:00

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.

Brett Langston
21/10/2012 10:13

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.....

Albert Gasparo
26/11/2012 00:22

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