Columbia University has been a vital hub for Prokofiev studies since the deposit of a rich trove of the composer's archival material at the University in 2014. The Serge Prokofiev Archive, housed at Columbia’s Rare Books and Manuscript Library and supported by the Serge Prokofiev Foundation, is the premier research source on Prokofiev’s time in the West (1918-1936).
This concert will initiate a yearlong commemoration by Columbia University of the 100th anniversary of Serge Prokofiev’s American debut in New York City. Cynthia Liu, CC ’18, will perform three piano works highlighting Prokofiev’s virtuosity as a composer and foregrounding the notions of interruption and irony, themes that recur brilliantly and tragically in Prokofiev’s art and life. Archivist Natalia Ermolaev (GSAS ‘10), who has a doctorate from Columbia's Department of Slavic Languages, will complement the music with insights from the archive, illustrating the importance of documentary traces in mapping the complex, trans-national impact of Prokofiev’s music for the last century.