Course overview

The sparkling ballets of Tchaikovsky, the fantasy world of Rimsky Korsakov, the romance of Rachmaninov and the quirky humour of Prokofiev. Over eight weeks, you will meet these and many more glorious examples of Russian music from the early 19TH century to the recent past. As we chart how the national music developed from folk beginnings to internationally recognised trail-blazers, you will be able to develop your listening skills and learn about the challenges with which the composers had to struggle in making their voices heard. Our course is for everyone. No previous knowledge is required; just a willingness to listen, learn and enjoy.

Course description

Russia, perhaps more than any other country, has produced a steady, unbroken stream of some of the world’s greatest and most innovative music. Think of ground-breaking works like Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” or Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov”. In our course, with the help of examples, you will learn about the lives and key achievements of composers from Glinka to Shostakovitch, and the masterpieces which quickly became established on the international stage.

State control under both the Tsars and Stalinism posed significant challenges – even persecution - with some composers like Rachmaninov and Stravinsky forced to emigrate. Yet, you will learn how the composers managed to work these restrictions into a creative spur to express their personal voice. In the case of Tchaikovsky in particular, we also examine how the battle between public and private extended to marrying the very different Russian and Western musical forms.

In charting the remarkable development of Russian music, we marvel at how, despite their ability to embrace new techniques, the composers still maintained a seamless adherence to tradition and the “Russian soul”

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

Share this page:

Lady giving a thumbs up to her tablet as she watches a WEA member lecture
Image overlay triangle

Become a WEA member today

For just £15 per year, you can access many great benefits, including our award-winning weekly member lectures.

Need more information?

Need help? Complete our form and our friendly Support Services team will be back in touch.

Course contact
I am most interested in (tick all that apply)

How do we use the information we gather from you?
Please see our privacy policy.