Gergiev restores Prokofiev’s dacha

Gergiev restores Prokofiev’s dacha


norman lebrecht

March 17, 2016

The conductor and four unnamed friends have undertaken to repair the composer’s retreat in the village of Nikolina Gora, outside Moscow. Gergiev is leading 125th anniversary commemorations for Sergei Prokofiev.

He’s being very discreet about the dacha. Details (the few he’ll give) here and in Tass.

proofiev dacha nikolina-gora-227x325


  • Eddie Mars says:

    (My) translation of the TASS report:

    —- %< —————

    Gergiev intends to restore Sergey Prokofiev’s dacha in suburban Moscow

    15th March 2016

    The musician believes no public discussion of the dacha's future, or its conversion into a museum, is currently possible.

    MOSCOW, 15th March. TASS. Mr Valery Gergiev, Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, intends to restore the dacha of famous composer Sergey Prokofiev to order. Prokofiev would have been 125 in 2016. Mr Gergiev told TASS of his intentions in the Press Conference devoted to the 15th Moscow Easter Festival.

    “I'm delighted we've been able to save Prokofiev's dacha. It might have been lost. However, together with four friends, we've been able to preserve it. I hope we'll be able to restore it to order”, Mr Gergiev said.

    According to Gergiev, the question of what should be done with the dacha, and whether it should be used as a museum, is not something for public discussion. “This is not something to discuss publicly. It needs very careful handling. Thank God we were able to save the building. It might have been pulled down”, the maestro said.

    The dacha, in which composer Sergey Prokofiev spent the closing eight years of his life, is located in the little settlement of Nikolina Gora*, outside Moscow. The settlement covers 73-hundred sq metres, and comprises two-storey wooden-built cottages – each with a balcony, parking space, and a gazebo.

    There were reports in the media a few years ago that the property was up for sale, for $4.5 million dollars. The lot, and the building which stands on it, is in an abandoned condition.


    —- %< —————

    Nikolina Gora is a development of country cottages and dachas located along Rubtsovskoye Highway, to the NW of Moscow. It's a once-prestigious development which was developed mainly in the 1970s, primarily for Party functionaries. A dacha is a wooden summer cottage – usually without central heating, so only for use in the Russian summer months. The area adjoins the VIP region of Barvikha, where the Presidential Dacha is located. Although a high-status area in its 70s heyday, Nikolina Gora and its environs has now been eclipsed by developments along the New-Riga Highway – and as the article hints, is falling into elegant decrepitude. (Trans)

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Prokofiev still has descendants in London so I imagine that they will be consulted?

    • Eddie Mars says:

      And indeed in Paris, too, I believe?

      It remains an open question how such a valuable property came to be left abandoned?

  • Eddie Mars says:

    Meanwhile, an excellent performance of the Prokofiev rarity Stalnoi Skok (“The Stride of Steel”, but usually known abroad as ‘Le pas d’acier’, since it had a Paris premiere) from Saratov Opera & Ballet Theatre last night – on tour to Moscow as part of the Golden Mask Arts Festival.

    It’s an unusual ballet from 1925, in the “socialist realist” style. The original scenery (which was not, sadly, reproduced for this production) was all designed by top artists – notably Yakulov – in the Constructivist style. It was one of the very, very few ‘socialist realist’ ballets to have been produced by Diaghilev (who washed his hands of socialism and Russia entirely shortly after).

    Essentially it’s a sort-of storyless celebration of technical achievement and industrialisation, which nowadays hovers between naivety, self-satire and high soviet camp. But why not? :))

    People high-up in the Golden Mask festival tell me the Jury think very highly of this production (the orchestral playing was tip-top – rather better than in the YouTube clip of last year’s performances in Saratov), and it is likely to walk off with at least one of the Awards this year.