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Some snow-covered recommendations from the Russian section of Katherine's collection.
Tchaikovsky is a good example of how important a wealthy patron can be to the production of great art. When he was in his mid-30s, the composer became acquainted with Madam Nadejda von Meck, a widow whose enthusiasm for his music prompted her to give him an annual allowance of £600. This was a period of rich productivity for Tchaikovsky. He wrote – among many other great works – Eugene Onegin, his Violin Concerto, and Swan Lake. Today, Swan Lake remains a sure-fire hit for ballet companies all over the world. ‘Strange then to think that when it was premiered in 1877, the reception it garnered was lukewarm at best,’ says Katherine. ‘And the dancers gave the composer a hard time, saying his music was simply too difficult to dance to!’
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