Russian Composers Meadow


A memorial Russian Composers Meadow has been created this spring in Glover Park, near the Guy Mason Center (3600 Calvert Street, Washington, DC 20007), next to the Alley of Russian Poets dedicated to ten outstanding 19th and 20th century Russian poets, created three years ago.


Back in 2000, Edward D. Lozansky, President of the American University in Moscow, in the course of the US-Russia Forum which he organizes yearly, had planted three trees in front of the Guy Mason Center.  After the Alley of Russian Poets was created, at the initiative of the Museum of Russian Poetry (Uli Zislin, Curator), in 2003-2004, the idea arose that these trees be dedicated to the memory of Russian composers. In 2005 two more trees were added to the original three to form a row of five in front of the Center building. In front of these “composers’ trees” lies a large lawn, or “meadow.”


To make this meadow a memorial dedicated to five Russian composers, the Washington Museum of Russian Poetry ordered a monument (prepared and placed by Chesapeake Monuments, Baltimore, MD; sponsors, accounting professionals Boris and Natalie Foxman, Gaithersburg, MD).  For the memorial stone the Museum selected red marble.  The names of five Russian composers popular in America are inscribed in gold on the monument’s slanted front surface:


                                                                                                Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky   1840-1893

                                                                                               Sergei Rachmaninoff        1873-1943

                                                                                                Igor Stravinsky                  1882-1971

                                                                                                Dmitri Shostakovich          1906-1975

                                                                                                Sergei Prokofiev           1891-1953


The words “Memorial Russian Composers Meadow” are inscribed in a semicircle above the composers’ names on the front surface. The same words, in Russian, are inscribed in the back. Musical symbols decorate the monument’s sides and back. The composers’ monument stands at the end of the Alley’s left row (Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetaeva, Osip Mandelshtam, Anna Akhmatova and Nikolai Gumilyov) and is aligned with the “composers’ trees” planted perpendicular to the Alley, in the back of the lawn. The two memorials, one dedicated to poetry and one to music, form one whole. Music and poetry are close relatives.  This is especially true of Russian music and poetry.


And so a poetry and music memorial was born in Washington, DC. Now the Greater Washington area has a place where, when the spirit moves you, or on a given memorial day, you can come and place flowers not only to Russian poets in the Alley, but also to Russian composers on the Meadow.




    More information and excursions: Washington Literary & Musical Museum of Russian Poetry (Uli Zislin)      301/942-2728