Sviatoslav Richter gave his first concert at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Volkhonka on 14 April, 1949. He played two Beethoven sonatas and Nina Dorliak sang some Schubert songs. It was only later that we realised the full significance of this event.
I was fortunate enough to know the great musician personally and occasionally take part in realising some of his projects. For me he opened up worlds that I would never otherwise have entered. He did this not on purpose, but simply by being there. I was able to observe him talking to his friends and rehearsing, to hear him play. I saw him jubilant and infinitely sad, elated and occasionally depressingly unfair, exhilarated and dreadfully angry. In other words, like most of us can be at times. Yet in all this there was a different dimension, a freedom and power of expression, a depth and understanding, which were not of this world.
Many years have passed since Sviatoslav Richter first came to the museum. He is now part of its history. His presence has given our abode a new dimension. He brought with him a new world, new ideas. And acknowledged us.
Now, thanks to Nina Lvovna Doriak's bequest, his home on Bolshaya Bronnaya has become part of the museum.
We cherish and preserve the traditions of Sviatoslav Richter's home.
A Chronological List of Events and Works
1915, 20 March
Sviatoslav Richter was born in Zhitomir. His father, a talented musician, did not teach his son music systematically. Up to the age of twenty-two one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century was self taught
lived with his parents in Odessa
leader of the Odessa Philharmonic and from 1934 of the orchestra at the Odessa opera and ballet theatre. Throughout his life Richter showed a remarkable knowledge of opera. He was particularly fond of Richard Wagner, whose operas he knew by heart
first solo performance at the Odessa House of Engineers. The programme consisted of works by Chopin.
According to Richter, he «trained to be a conductor. But at the last moment [...] my debut as a conductor in opera fell through»
Richter entered the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Professor Heinrich Neuhaus
1940, 30 December
first solo performance with a symphony orchestra (Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the State Symphony Orchestra conducted by K.lvanov), which marked the beginning of regular concert performances
met the singer Nina Dorliak, who became his life companion and musical partner. His first tours were Vologda-Leningrad-Murmansk-Archangel and Tbilisi-Baku-Yerevan-Sukhumi
1945, 25 March
first joint performance with Nina Lvovna Dorliak (Sergei Prokofiev evening in the Small Hall of the Conservatory). First place at the 3rd All-Union Competition of Performing Musicians, the only competition Richter ever entered
graduated from the Conservatory with a gold medal
first foreign tour, to Eastern Europe
first performance in Moscow of Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra with Rostropovich as the soloist and Richter conducting
member of the jury for the First International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition
first tours in the USA and Canada
first tours in Western Europe
opening of the annual international music festival in Touraine, in which Richter took part until 1993
first performances in Japan
together with Irina Antonova Sviatoslav Richter inaugurates the December Evenings festival at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
two tours which included the north of the European part of the country, the Volga area, Ukraine, Urals, Kazakhstan, Siberia and the Far East (with a visit to Japan)
the beginning of festivals, organised on Rich-ter's initiative, in Tarusa, his favourite place on the River Oka
last performance in Russia at the December Evenings festival
last performance in Tokyo. Three Mozart piano concertos conducted by Rudolf Barshai
Richter's last concert in Bremen
1997, 1 August
the death of Sviatoslav Richter
1997, 4 August
A memorial service is held in the Italian Courtyard of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Sviatoslav Richter is buried in Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow