The Polish composer André Tchaikowsky (1935-82) is the subject of a new book by Anastasia Belina-Johnson, of Leeds College of Music. To mark the publication of this new study she organised a symposium day at LCM to hear and discuss Tchaikowsky’s music. The day included various discussions and a screening of Act II of Tchaikowsky’s opera The Merchant of Venice, premiered in Bregenz earlier this year. The symposium ended with a concert of various chamber works, at which I performed the Seven Shakespeare Sonnets, accompanied on the piano by Nico de Villiers.
Tchaikowsky famously bequeathed his skull to the RSC for use as Yorick in productions of Hamlet, and it was used by David Tennent in his performances of the role. All of his vocal works are settings of Shakespeare texts and include other works not heard on 1 November, such as Ariel for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble.