By Dmitry Rachmanov
Dear friends, fellow musicians and members of the Scriabin Society of America!
It has been a while since we have last communicated to you or posted on this website. In the past few years the Scriabin Society of America had to reduce its activities as the old members of the SSA executive board, including our president, Edith Finton-Rieber, went through retirement or left us. It has been a challenge to find replacements for them!
Needless to say, despite this hiatus, our devotion to Scriabin’s legacy, music and unique world he created remained unchallenged. As the composer’s memorial centenary was approaching (1915-2015), we were determined to resurrect the activities of the SSA sooner or later.
We continue our work toward that goal and have recently reached out to our members, fellow musicians and devotees of the symbolist composer. We plan to continue reaching out to our base, reassemble the SSA executive board, resume publishing our newsletter, present annual events and show other activities in the near future.
Meanwhile we have continued our work on behalf of the composer individually and with the backing of SSA.
I am happy to report some of my own activities on these pages.
In the last few years I have been involved in presenting recitals of Scriabin’s music and creating a videography of his piano works. This project started in the fall of 2013, with my approaching academic sabbatical at California State University Northridge in the spring semester of 2014. One of my projects was to commemorate the composer in conjunction with his approaching memorial centennial as part of the activities created on behalf of the SSA by one of its founding members.
I presented all-Scriabin recital programs at various venues in the US and abroad during the 2013-14 season, starting on the CSUN campus, followed by Saddleback College and Sacramento State University in California in the fall of 2013. My tour continued through the season with fourteen US campus appearances, four international concert venues and two Music Teachers’ conferences from the west to the east coast. It included recitals, lecture recitals and masterclasses. My residency at Brigham Young University in January 2014 included taping of the “live” radio show for the Classical 89 station.
The academia itinerary was followed by a recital at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, on April 13, 2014, presented by the Scriabin Society of America.
The next leg of my tour included recitals in Moscow and Budapest. The Moscow all- Scriabin recital was presented on the Piano Virtuosi series at the International House of Music on April 23, 2014.
The House of Music featured a two-colored stage lighting for each half of the program.
During the following season, 2014-15, I was able to present other Scriabin-inspired programs at places like Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in the UK and in Paris, France. I was also part of the four-recital all-Scriabin centennial series, April-August, 2015, presented by the Bay Area pianists in San Francisco with all of the sonatas and other major works presented by a group of seven pianists.
Around the same time the idea of a project of performing all major piano works of Scriabin on camera was born. It was designed as an educational tool to make Scriabin’s music more accessible to students, piano teachers and music lovers alike. The performances are to be accompanied by on-screen verbal commentaries/brief analyses of the works performed. I have been involved in making this video project since January of 2015, and so far it has been a highly stimulating and rewarding undertaking!
The last items to report for me is that I have been invited to present a lecture entitled: “Scriabin, the Russian Prometheus” at the upcoming California chapter of MTNA (CAPMT) on October 20. I have also have been commissioned by the Alfred Music Publishing House to prepare a new performance edition of the Scriabin Twenty-Four Preludes, Opus 11 for publication in 2019. In conjunction with my research of this project, I will be attending the international conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Scriabin Memorial Museum in Moscow in October 2018, where I will be presenting a solo recital and will deliver a greeting on behalf of the Scriabin Society of America.