Columbia to House a Trove of Prokofiev’s Items

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A foundation dedicated to Sergei Prokofiev will give a priceless trove of musical manuscripts, letters and other items belonging to the composer — including a suitcase — to the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia in an effort to make them more accessible to scholars. Most of the materials represent Prokofiev’s work from 1918 to 1938, the years he visited or lived in the West.

Simon Morrison, a musicologist and professor of music history at Princeton University and the foundation’s president, said the materials are held by Goldsmiths College at the University of London and by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the National Library of France, in Paris. The transfer will begin on Nov. 1 with the London materials, the highlights of which are the score that Prokofiev used when he conducted the premiere of “Love for Three Oranges,” in Chicago in 1921, and the manuscript of “Semero Ikh” — “Seven, They Are Seven,” which Mr. Morrison called “a spectacular, youthful oratorio.” This 1918 work calls for a large chorus and an orchestra of over 100, but lasts only about eight minutes....




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