Sergei Prokofiev. Relatives
The information about the arrests and jail sentences of Prokofiev’s close relatives has been promulgated some years ago, and it revealed many new things about the composer’s biography and personality. That is, it became clear, that he was fully aware of mass repressions and harsh political censorship in the USSR at the time he was deciding to return to the motherland. The composer had to shape his own personal strategy to maneuver between artistic values and the circumstances demand.
The letters presented in the article introduce in greater detail the composer’s relatives. So, they shed light upon the life of the Katenins family during the Revolution first years; they bring into view one relative living in Germany—Maria Rein. One of the most vibrant items of Prokofiev’s correspondence is the letter from his aunt, Ekaterina Grigorievna Raevsky, who reported about her daughter being arrested. Prokofiev’s quiet correspondence is enriched by his notes from France to the Bolshoi Theater finance department and to the State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet (St. Petersburg), reminding them to send money to his relatives in the USSR.
For many years Prokofiev supported three families of relatives, who were purged or in need. The note published here is just one of many such reminders.
My sincere gratitude to Sergei Sviatoslavovich Prokofiev, descendants of the Raevski’s family Maria Petrovna Tarasevich (Sukhova) and Maria Vladimirovna Daragan-Sushchova for their help and permission to publish archival sources.