A Biographical Sketch
This chapter draws on recently discovered documents to sketch Lourié’s biography, which offers an unusual challenge for biographers. As it shows, even the composer’s name, birthdate, and birthplace are ambiguous because of frequent relocations, lost documents, ideological battles, and personal reinvention. The chapter provides the specifics of Lourié’s involvement in the Futurist movement in St. Petersburg; his service to Anatoliy Lunacharsky, Lenin’s cultural commissar, in the first years after the Russian Revolution; the reasons for his emigration to the West (Berlin and Paris) in the early 1920s; and his ultimately failed attempt to establish himself as a Russian composer abroad. The chapter concludes with an account of Lourié’s efforts to renew contact with the artists with whom he bonded in his youth, including his muse, the poet Anna Akhmatova.
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