Richard Wagner has arguably the greatest and most long-term influence on wider European culture of all nineteenth-century composers. And yet, among the copious English-language literature examining Wagner's works, influence, and character, research into the composer’s impact and role in Russia and Eastern European countries, and perceptions of him from within those countries, is noticeably sparse. Wagner in Russia, Poland and the Czech Lands aims to redress imbalance and stimulate further research in this rich area. The eight essays are divided in three parts - one each on Russia, the Czech lands and Poland - and cover a wide historical span, from the composer’s first contacts with and appearances in these regions, through to his later reception in the Communist era. The contributing authors examine his influences in a wide range of areas such as music, literary and epistolary heritage, politics, and the cultural histories of Russia, the Czech lands, and Poland, in an attempt to establish Wagner’s place in a part of Europe not commonly addressed in studies of the composer.
Stephen Muir is a Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Leeds, UK. His research focuses on the music of Russia and Eastern Europe (particularly Rimsky-Korsakov and DvoÅ™Ã¡k), the critical editing of music, and Jewish liturgical music. Recent publications include a chapter on Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Pan Voyevoda in a collection of essays in honour of Julian Rushton (Boydell and Brewer, 2010), and studies of the musical source material for DvoÅ™Ã¡k’s opera Tvrdé palice in preparation for a scholarly edition of the opera in BÃ¤renreiter’s New DvoÅ™Ã¡k Edition. Dr Anastasia Belina-Johnson is a Head of Classical Music at Leeds College of Music and a member of LUCOS (Leeds University Centre for Opera Studies). She is a musicologist, writer, presenter, and opera director. Her research interests include nineteenth-century music, opera, Wagner and his influences on Russian composers, modern operas written on Greek dramas, and twentieth-century British music. She is the author of Die tÃ¤gliche MÃ¼he ein Mensch zu sein (Wolke Verlag, 2013) and A Musician Divided: André Tchaikowsky in his own Words (Toccata Classics, 2013. She is currently working on the authorized biography of Andé Tchaikowsky and is co-editing with Derek Scott a volume of essays, The Business of Opera, for Ashgate. As opera director, Belina-Johnson focuses on rarely staged works; her productions include Taneyev’s Oresteia (2009), Salieri’s Les Danaides (2010), and Vaughan Williams’ The Poisoned Kiss (2012). She is an International Artistic Director of Koncerty Urodzinowe Chopina (Chopin Music Festival), Warsaw.