Performing Tsarist Russia in New York
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Offering a rare look at the musical life of Russia Abroad as it unfolded in New York City, Natalie K. Zelensky examines the popular music culture of the post-Bolshevik Russian emigration and the impact made by this group on American culture and politics. Performing Tsarist Russia in New York begins with a rich account of the musical evenings that took place in the Russian émigré enclave of Harlem in the 1920s and weaves through the world of Manhattan's Russian restaurants, Tin Pan Alley industry, Broadway productions, 1939 World's Fair, Soviet music distributors, postwar Russian parish musical life, and Cold War radio programming to close with today's Russian ball scene, exploring how the idea of Russia Abroad has taken shape through various spheres of music production in New York over the course of a century. Engaging in an analysis of musical styles, performance practice, sheet music cover art, the discourses surrounding this music, and the sonic, somatic, and social realms of dance, Zelensky demonstrates the central role played by music in shaping and maintaining the Russian émigré diaspora over multiple generations as well as the fundamental paradox underlying this process: that music's sustaining power in this case rests on its proclivity to foster collective narratives of an idealized prerevolutionary Russia while often evolving stylistically to remain relevant to its makers, listeners, and dancers. By combining archival research with fieldwork and interviews with Russian émigrés of various generations and emigration waves, Performing Tsarist Russia in New York presents a close historical and ethnographic examination of music's potential as an aesthetic, discursive, and social space through which diasporans can engage with an idea of a mythologized homeland, and, in turn, the vital role played by music in the organization, development, and reception of Russia Abroad.



1. Performing a la Russe: Music, Migration, and the White Russians in 1920s Harlem

2. New York's Russian Vogue: The Fox Trotsky and Other Musical Delights

3. Emigration at the Boundary: Russian DPs, the Second Generation, and Soviet Song in the World War II Era

4. Radio Liberty, Vernon Duke, and the 'Internal' Russian Voice in Cold War Broadcasting

5. Old Russia at The Pierre: Music, Dancing, and Enchantment in Twenty-First Century New York






Publié par
Date de parution 24 avril 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253041227
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 6 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0032€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Simon A. Morrison and Peter Schmelz, editors
Music, migr s, and the American Imagination
Natalie K. Zelensky
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
2019 by Natalie Zelensky
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-253-04118-0 (cloth)
ISBN 978-0-253-04119-7 (paperback)
ISBN 978-0-253-04120-3 (ebook)
1 2 3 4 5 24 23 22 21 20 19
Note on Transliteration
1 Performing la Russe : Music, Migration, and the White Russians in 1920s Harlem
2 New York s Russian Vogue: The Fox-Trotsky and Other Musical Delights
3 Emigration at the Boundary: Russian DPs, Second Generation migr s, and Soviet Song in the World War II Era
4 Radio Liberty, Vernon Duke, and the Internal migr Voice in Cold War Broadcasting
5 Old Russia at the Pierre: Music, Enchantment, and the Dancing Body in Twenty-First Century New York
T HIS BOOK COULD NOT HAVE BEEN WRITTEN WITHOUT the help and generosity of many people. From the individuals whom I encountered within the academic sphere to those who opened to me their homes and likewise their memories, I remain humbled and deeply grateful.
Since starting my graduate studies at Northwestern University, I continue to be greatly appreciative of the mentorship and guidance of Inna Naroditskaya, whose generosity, rich perspective on life, and astute advice in both academic and personal matters have helped me grow in ways in which I could not have imagined when I first began graduate school. It is hard to conceive of a better mentor and colleague, and, to Inna, I extend a heartfelt thank you. The inspired teaching and subsequent intellectual exchange with Linda Austern sparked my interest in music academics to begin with and has opened to me doors for which I am forever indebted.
To the erudite guidance and sharp advice of Jesse Rosenberg and Andrew Wachtel, whose lessons in teaching and scholarship I maintain to the present. For the many long conversations and exchanges and for the inspired night of singing Russian folk music around the dinner table in the suburbs of Seattle, I extend my deepest regard to Elena Dubinets. To the many other colleagues whose work has inspired me and whose wisdom, insight, and spirit have enriched the academic road, I extend a special thank you to Paul Berliner, Patrick Burke, Leslie Chekin, Julie Christensen, Martin Daughtry, Sam Dorf, Jon Dueck, Jeffers Engelhardt, Katya Ermolaev, Roseen Giles, David Goldfrank, Gini Gorlinski, Katie Graber, Olga Haldey, Eduardo Herrera, Damascus Kafumbe, Masha Kisel, Maurice Jackson, Alejandro Madrid, Margarita Mazo, Megan Guenther McFadden, Rebecca Bennett Meador, Tanya Merchant, Tamara Roberts, Griff Rollefson, Fritz Schenker, Richard Taruskin, Christina Taylor Gibson, Jeff van den Scott, Pat Warfield, Sarah Williams, Sunmin Yoon, Elizabeth Zelensky, and Svetlana Zvereva.
I am likewise grateful to the many supportive and vibrant colleagues I have met at Colby College, whose enriching conversations have shaped my thinking in critical ways. I extend a special thank you to the members of my writing group, Britt Halvorson and Brett White, and to the members of the music department, Steven Nuss, Steve Saunders, Jon Hallstrom, Lily Funahashi, Eric Thomas, Todd Borgerding, Eva Linfield, and the ever-helpful Margaret Ericson.
When I first proposed this project to Indiana University Press, then-editor Raina Polivka met my ideas with much support and enthusiasm and helped the book through its initial stages. Her post was seamlessly picked up by Janice Frisch, whose targeted comments and support have helped shape this book into what it is. The swift responses of assistant editor Kate Schramm have further helped this entire process go smoothly. I am indebted to the two outside reviewers, whose astute comments helped refine this manuscript in vital ways. Their generosity of time and energy was made evident in their comprehensive and well-thought-out comments, and to them I remain deeply grateful.
Research for this work was supported in part by Colby College and by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I am grateful to Colby for supporting a yearlong sabbatical (2015-2016)-during which time I plunged into the writing of this manuscript-as well as for funding numerous research trips and trips to conferences, at which I presented various parts of this work. The NEH fellowship I received in 2013 for a monthlong residency at Columbia University s Harriman Institute played a critical role in shaping my research and thinking about this book. I thank Ed Kasinec and Robert Davis Jr. for organizing this fruitful session ( America s Russian-Speaking Immigrants and Refugees: 20th Century Migration and Memory ), and for the astute and diverse insights of my fellow participants, the interaction with whom, in both official and unofficial capacities, has enriched my thinking about the Russian diaspora in innumerable ways.
During my fellowship at Columbia, I had the opportunity to comb through a number of collections at the Bakhmeteff Archive, one of the preeminent repositories of Russian migr material, and I am thankful to Tanya Chebotarev for helping me to navigate this process. My regular visits to the Music Division and Recorded Sound Research Center at the Library of Congress were enriched by the incredibly helpful and knowledgeable librarians, and I extend a special thank you to Cait Miller and Karen Fishman, whose help often went above and beyond and whose friendly disposition made my work light. I thank the staff at the Music Division of the New York Public Library, and I extend a heartfelt thank you to Alexis Liberovsky, archivist and director of the Archives of the Orthodox Church of America, who helped make my research stays both fruitful and comfortable. Thank you also to Eleana Silk at the St. Vladimir s Orthodox Theological Seminary Library and to Claude Zachary at the University of Southern California Special Collections for his help in tracking down rare images from New York s Russian nightclub scene.
I am indebted to the many consultants I met throughout this project, whose perspectives lent not only depth and nuance to my understanding of the Russian emigration but also a human dimension to the research process. I extend a special thank you to the Sarandinaki family, especially Masha and Tanya, who opened to me their homes and met me with immense warmth. Tanya s navigation through the current world of Russian New York, as well as the extended Sarandinaki-Tolstoy dinner organized by Masha, went beyond anything I was expecting and helped my thinking about the Russian emigration in the early stages of this project. To the late David Pavlovich Chavchavadze and Zhenya Chavchavadze I extend sincere gratitude for the many times they had me to their home. I will never forget David Pavlovich s deep, resonant voice as he spoke about his interactions with dissident Soviet poets, musical evenings ( vecherinki ), and his beloved nanny ( nianiushka ), while Zhenya s recollections of growing up in Russian Harlem with her grandfather, Captain Vladimir de Smitt, at the helm of this migr enclave, brought to life accounts I had read about in archives. Thanks also to the late Alesha Zacharin, from whom I learned so much about life in the displaced persons camps and then in postwar New York, and who assured me that in those years one required only three words to get around the city: Broadway, subway, OK. I am likewise grateful to Natalia Lord and to her late mother, Tatiana Nikolaevna Kamendrowsky, whose work as a member of New York s Russian theaters, announcer for Radio Liberty, unofficial guide to touring musicians from the Soviet Union, and wife of a member of the Don Cossack Choir offered valuable perspective to my project. To Natalia Montviloff, for her generous sharing of stories of growing up in postwar New York as well as of the physical concert programs and recordings of Soviet music tours of the 1950s, both of which offered an important glimpse into the post-World War II musical world of the Russian emigration. I am grateful also to Kir Karouna, whose reminiscences growing up in Russian Harlem lent an important firsthand perspective and whose regular mailing of clippings from the Martianoff Calendar-itself a cultural institution within the Russian migr world-were always a welcomed surprise.
I extend a sincere thank you to Xenia Woyevodsky, active advocate of Russian migr culture, whose vivid accounts of social gatherings in the 1960s and 1970s among young Russians in the United States, London, and Paris offered important comparative insight to my work, and to the late Marina Ledkovsky, who generously opened to me her husband s papers and shared with me stories of parish life in postwar New York.
The world of research sometimes graces us with moments of serendipity, and I continue to marvel at these turns of fa

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