December 3, 2007 at 01:17 AM · I will be in Russia next summer, and I was wondering if there are any summer music programs for violinists? I will be in Saint Petersburg.
December 3, 2007 at 01:36 AM · does Russia have a Summer?;)
December 3, 2007 at 01:16 PM · does Russia have voluntary camps? ;)
December 3, 2007 at 01:24 PM · Nice try Jim, but Great Terror jokes aren't any less tasteless than Holocaust jokes.
December 3, 2007 at 01:32 PM · I don't know what the "Great Terror" is or was, and I don't care :)
December 3, 2007 at 01:54 PM · Jim, the Great Terror refers to the years in the 1930s in the Soviet Union in which Stalin and his NKVD henchmen carried out one of the most brutal mass murders in history. Thousands upon thousands of innocent people were branded "enemies of the state" and herded to labor camps in Siberia, where most of them died. Mass executions were also common. The only crime that most of them had ever committed was to have once supported politicians who had since fallen out of favor, or used the wrong symbolism in their poetry, or just given Stalin an icky feeling. The Terror decimated Russian society and to be honest, the country still has not fully recovered.
Haven't you ever read Solzhenitsyn? "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich," or "Gulag Archipelago"? Or have you at least HEARD of him? Or Mandelstam, who was exiled and then assassinated for writing a rude poem about Stalin?
I can understand historical ignorance, but APATHY to something like this just boggles my mind.
December 3, 2007 at 02:25 PM · I never got into Russian stuff.
Some of the pundits this morning after the election are saying they're heading toward a new tzardom or something right now.
December 3, 2007 at 01:58 PM · Well, yes, pretty much they are. United Russia creeps got 70 goddamn percent of the parliament...blech...
December 3, 2007 at 02:04 PM · Did you read...what's his name "New Lies for Old'?
Is United Russia the party of Gorbachev?
December 3, 2007 at 02:14 PM · No, it's Putin's party.
December 3, 2007 at 02:20 PM · He's got this all full of hisself look in his pitchers. The more he gets, the more he's gonna want if there ain't nothin' holdin' him back. I can tell.
December 3, 2007 at 02:33 PM · Yeah...apparently he's going to appoint himself the next prime minister. Gag me with a friggin' spoon.
December 3, 2007 at 02:57 PM · Citizens need a constitution that embodies principles they revere so much that they would just go wild if it's annuled in a major way.
This morning hearing interviews with people who wouldn't give their last names out of fear, comparing that with what I remember from the Gorbachev days is a big difference.
December 3, 2007 at 02:56 PM · Mara, "Ivan Denisovich" is one of the only books I couldn't finish. We read it at school as part of the IB Novel and Society option, and I think I bailed within 20 pages of the end. Far too effective. Been meaning to go back to it, but I think I've got to be in a less existential place first...
December 3, 2007 at 03:03 PM · Sound like the first 20 pages would be an exciting read :) Oops, you said 20 pages from the end. Just go ahead and finish. You can handle it.
December 3, 2007 at 03:27 PM · Classical music attracts a lot bigger crowds in Russia compared to US and western Europe.
Classical musicians have a lot better status in Russia too
Even the conductors have rockstar status sometimes
December 3, 2007 at 05:00 PM · Megan, Ivan Denisovich is tame compared to Shalamov's "Kolyma Tales."
December 3, 2007 at 06:38 PM · "Classical music attracts a lot bigger crowds in Russia compared to US and western Europe.
Classical musicians have a lot better status in Russia too"
Yet they get paid little and many of them come to the US and Western Europe. Interesting.
December 3, 2007 at 06:52 PM · Yeah, I keep telling myself I'm saving the Russians. Exactly what for, I don't know. My political-scientist younger sister said The Gulag Archipelago was one of the strongest books she'd ever read, but at the moment I seem to be enjoying messing about in Antiquity. Oh, and reading Kafka.
And practicing. Sometimes.
December 4, 2007 at 03:11 AM · Yeah...sorry about that...
December 4, 2007 at 06:31 AM · "Yet they get paid little and many of them come to the US and Western Europe. Interesting. "
That depends I think
I know one Swedish conductor that moved to Russia and he earns a lot more there then here.
December 4, 2007 at 07:15 AM · O yes, anecdotes. The very pinnacle of emperical evidence.
Trust me, it isn't even close.
December 4, 2007 at 03:55 PM · "O yes, anecdotes. The very pinnacle of emperical evidence.
Trust me, it isn't even close."
He stated that a lot more people goes to classical concerts in Russia.
The respect he gets for being a conductor in St. Petersburg is like night and day compared to Sweden.
I have no reason to believe that he is lying, He emigrated to Russia just to work as a conductor.
December 4, 2007 at 04:54 PM · ya that's fine, but like I said, that doesn't change the fact that many of Russia's best teachers and players migrate to the west. It can't be that good, is what I'm sayin. Because the economy is so lopsided, a lot of musicians, especially the good ones, realize that they can have a much higher standard of living in Germany or North America. So, while public opinion may be strong where classical musicians are concerned, these people are not living as well as they could if they simply moved a few thousand miles west.
I am going to St. Petersburg for the first time next year (I hope). I cannot wait.
December 5, 2007 at 07:47 AM · Yes, the contrast between the Gorbachev days when people stood in lines for days, half the country was given away and the age expectancy dropped 15 years, and the current times is indeed very strong Jim. United Russia has such a high rating because Putin has publicly stated support for it; anyone following Russian politics knows that with such a strong executive branch the Duma is really powerless and that is indeed for the better.
December 5, 2007 at 12:00 PM · Yes, I remember that at the beginning it was hard times. They thought here that it might lose popular support and fall through.
I don't know anything about the Duma vs. the executive branch, but here we have three branches essentially struggling for power, which restrains all three in theory. The Constitution says what the duties and limits of each branch is. It was a strategy to prevent anyone from having total power. And of course when someone has total power, democracy is gone. He can't be unelected unless he commands his subjects to vote for somebody else :) There are philosophical ideas pertaining to the rights of and value of individuals purposely built into all this.
So here the Duma or Congress, it wouldn't be for the better for them to be powerless, although you might wish they were powerless when they do something stupid.
December 5, 2007 at 05:04 PM · "ya that's fine, but like I said, that doesn't change the fact that many of Russia's best teachers and players migrate to the west. It can't be that good, is what I'm sayin. Because the economy is so lopsided, a lot of musicians, especially the good ones, realize that they can have a much higher standard of living in Germany or North America. So, while public opinion may be strong where classical musicians are concerned, these people are not living as well as they could if they simply moved a few thousand miles west.
I am going to St. Petersburg for the first time next year (I hope). I cannot wait."
I checked the salaries for US violinist posted here earlier and I can say that the Swedish violinists do not earn more then 1/3 of that after taxes
Part of the taxes that people pay here support the classical music community however.
December 5, 2007 at 07:33 PM · US orchestra players are the best paid in the world, but in Sweden, you at least are getting good free healthcare, great schools for your kids, and a very safe country. So it's a trade off.
In Sweden you don't have to make a lot of money to be living well, whereas in the US it's a bit different.
December 5, 2007 at 10:46 PM · don`t forget the meatballs and a nice massage from Mattias.
December 6, 2007 at 05:19 PM · Benjamin,
Look up www.internationalacademyofmusic.com
They have a program in St. Petersburg. Also, there is a wonderful teacher living in St. Petersburg named Saveliy Shalman.
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