St. Petersburg’s dignity and grandeur is everywhere apparent. Peter the Great had before him a vast tabula rasa when planning his future capital at the beginning of the 18th century. The city he built was truly sumptuous – but it came at a price. This lecture tells the story of the buildings of St. Petersburg, but also the life that went on inside the buildings, focussing particularly on the city’s writers, musicians and artists, for whom St. Petersburg definitely had a personality – sometimes enigmatic, sometimes tragic - which they immortalised in their paintings, music and literary works.
Rosamund is a writer, lecturer and translator whose work as a cultural historian ranges across the arts. She completed her doctorate at Oxford and is the author of several books, including biographies of Chekhov and Tolstoy, and a study of Wagner's influence in Russia. She is currently writing a history of the Russian avant-garde. Her new translation of Anna Karenina for Oxford World’s Classics was published to acclaim in 2014. She has written on art, music and literature for publications such as The Daily Telegraph and Apollo, and has received commissions from institutions including the Royal Opera House, Tate UK, and the Salzburg Festival. Her lecturing work has taken her from the V&A and the National Theatre in London to the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, and she contributes regularly to Proms events and opera broadcasts on the BBC.