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The Theremin in Russia

Russia was the birthplace of the theremin, and it was the Soviet Regime that pulled the theremin into the spotlight, when Lenin, after a private demonstration of the instrument, granted Professor Theremin a mandate to publicise his invention all over the USSR and abroad.

The theremin was seen as an important tool by the Soviet Propoganda Machine, and was used to demonstrate Soviet prowess in the fields of science and the arts.

Today, there is still a strong theremin scene in Russia. Lydia Kavina, the world's premier thereminist and relation of Leon Theremin concertises regularly all over the globe, and in 1992, a group headed by Andre Smirnov founded the Theremin Center in Moscow's Tchaikovsky Conservatory. The Centre's ethos is much the same as Theremin's studio in New York, in that it is an environment that allows collaboration across the arts and science, and the exploration of new technologies in music and the arts. It has a comprehensive training programme, and is commited to quality in the resulting endeavours, rather then any particular genre or style. Naturally, the centre also offers theremin classes and workshops from Lydia Kavina. Unfortunately, the Centre's website is only available in Russian, but even if you don't speak the language, the site is still worth a look as there are plenty of interesting archival pictures of early Theremin instruments, and some novel looking theremin-type designs.




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Theremin Times theremin-times June 6, 2011

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