What is the Russian School of Music?

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Maybe you’ve heard of this before. It is sometimes referred to as the Russian School of Piano Playing, Violin Playing or just the Russian School of Music. Each culture has different aspects and the Russian’s are no exception. The Russian culture is known for their intense emotionalism which certainly reflects in their music. They often perform with a great intensity and emotion and this is sometimes referred to as the Russian School.

But is it really a school? Not so much. It’s certainly not a formally organized institution; the Russian school is no different from something like the French school. These are movements started by composers at certain periods. They brought about certain types of music and performances that distinguish an era of music.

Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff are two composers that defined the Russian school. They both had a large amount of intensity and emotion in their music. However, just because two pianists are from the same school doesn’t mean they play the same way. Rachmaninoff and Horowitz were incredibly different musicians, yet both were Russian pianists.

So what does this mean? Much like Romantic and Classical music terms are very general, Russian School is also a general term to describe a certain style and era of music. It’s something that’s done after the fact to categorize a movement of composers and style of performance.

Thanks again for joining me Robert Estrin Robert@LivingPianos.com (949) 244-3729