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Built in 1703 by Peter the Great to be a cosmopolitan, Western-style metropolis, St. Petersburg emerged over subsequent decades as the center of Russian musical culture. It was in St. Petersburg that Mikhail Glinka, the progenitor of Russia’s classical music tradition, built his career. Glinka’s disciple Mily Balakirev likewise settled in the Russian capital, where he spearheaded the Russian vanguard known as the Mighty Handful. In 1862, Anton Rubinstein founded the St. Petersburg Conservatory, which remains Russian music’s foremost educational institution, producing such towering artists as Anton Arensky and Dmitry Shostakovich, whose works are featured in this program.
Update: Music@Menlo is excited to announce the addition of a newly discovered work by Dmitry Shostakovich to Concert Program III: St. Petersburg. On July 21, join violist Paul Neubauer and pianist Wu Han as they perform the West Coast premiere of Shostakovich’s long-hidden Impromptu for Viola and Piano, op. 33.