Part of the Lorado Taft Lectureship on Art/College of Fine and Applied Arts
Join us for “Famous Russians on pointe shoes: adapting classics for ballet and opera” at the Spurlock Museum, a public masterclass -lecture led by Ilya Demutsky, a prominent Russian composer. Ilya will describe the process of creating ballets based on famous Russians, fictional and real, such as Optimistic Tragedy (for San Francisco Ballet), Hero of Our Times (Bolshoi, Moscow), Nureyev (Bolshoi, 2017), Anna Karenina (Joffrey, Chicago, 2019), and the opera Black Square, (UIUC, 2017-Tretyakov’s Gallery, Moscow 2018).
This lecture will be presented in conjunction with the opening of Ilya’s full-length ballet Anna Karenina at Joffrey Ballet in Chicago on February 13, 2019. Anna Karenina, a joint production between the Joffrey Ballet and the Australian Ballet, is momentous on many levels—from the scale of the production to the interpretation of Leo Tolstoy’s seminal work of fiction.
Ilya Demutsky's body of work includes more than 150 compositions for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, piano, voice, as well as electronic and film music. Demutsky’s music for the full-length ballet, A Hero of Our Time, at the legendary Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow has won him the most coveted Russian theatre award, the Golden Mask. The much anticipated full length ballet Nureyev at Bolshoi in December 2017 won four Prix Benois 2018 awards, including the best composer work in ballet. For his score of the Cannes Festival Award-winning film The Student directed by Kirill Serebrennikov, Ilya Demutsky won the title of “European Composer of 2016,” bestowed by the European Film Academy.
Ilya has strong ties to the UIUC community. The first act of Ilya’s new opera Black Square was workshopped at UIUC, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, cosponsored by the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center, and opened on December 13, 2017. It went on to the world premiere at Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery in November 2018, alongside the original eponymous painting by Kazimir Malevich as a part of the set.