Serge Prokofiev Archive at Columbia

Currently, my main DH research concerns the The Serge Prokofiev Archive (SPA) at Columbia University, which houses materials related to the years that Serge Prokofiev (1891–1953) the Russian and Soviet composer, pianist and conductor, spent in the West (1918-1936).

Containing over 15,000 letters and documents, 58 original music manuscripts and hundreds of manuscript copies, published scores, concert programs, scholarly books and articles, photographs, and audio and video material, the Serge Prokofiev Archive at Columbia it the premier research collection outside of Russia for studying Prokofiev's life, work and legacy.

As the Project Archivist, I oversee the processing of this collection and lead a team of graduate student archival assistants in cataloging, description and metadata work. The Finding Aid, currently in progress, can be found here.

I coordinate a series of research projects and special events focusing on the SPA. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Columbia marked the 100th anniversary of Serge Prokofiev's debut concert in New York City with a series or programs we called "Discover Prokofiev." The events included an international scholarly symposium "New Directions in Prokofiev Studies" and concert, "Homage to Serge Prokofiev" in April 2018. 

A highlight of my last year was working on "Music and the Archive,” a unique program that brings together live music and documentary archives. In this lecture-recital, designed in collaboration with Cynthia Liu, a talented pianist and Columbia student, Cindy performs three solo piano works and I complement the music with insights from the archive, illustrating the importance of documentary traces in mapping the complex, transnational impact of Prokofiev’s music for the last century. To date we have preformed at the Reid Hall, the Columbia Global Center in Paris (November 2017) and Maison Française at Columbia's New York City campus (April 2018). Publicity about this event in Paris can be found here

An alluvial diagram showing the format, genre, music type, version, stage and language of materials in Series I. Music Manuscripts of the Serge Prokofiev Archive at Columbia. 


Read about Columbia acquiring the Prokofiev Archive here



Exhibit, Selections from the Serge Prokofiev Archive, (2015), Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia, Photo courtesy of Jennifer B. Lee, Curator of the Performing Arts Collection,

Excerpt showing Serge Prokofiev's address book along side a geo-located map of addresses found in his correspondence files.