Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today

Category: Book
By (author): Morrison, Simon
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts
  HISTORY / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
  PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / Classical & Ballet
Publisher: Knopf Random Vintage Canada
Published: October 2016
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 528
Size: 9.25in x 6.25in
Our Price:
$ 39.95
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*In this enthralling, definitive new history of the Bolshoi Ballet, sensational performances onstage compete with political machinations backstage.

On January 17, 2013, a hooded assailant hurled acid into the face of the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, making international headlines. A lead soloist, enraged by institutional power struggles, later confessed to masterminding the crime. The scandal, though shocking, is not an anomaly in the turbulent and tormented yet magnificent history of the Bolshoi. Renowned music historian Simon Morrison reveals the ballet as a crucible of art and politics, beginning with the disreputable inception of the theatre in 1776 and proceeding through the era of imperial rule, the chaos of revolution, the oppressive Soviet years, and the recent $680 million renovation project. Drawing on exclusive archival research, Morrison creates a richly detailed tableau of the centuries-long war between world-class art and life-threatening politics that has defined this storied institution. As Morrison makes clear, as Russia goes, so goes the Bolshoi Ballet.
Review Quote*Advance Praise

"The title means what it says. There's plenty of scandal here: arson, double suicide, dead cats flung at curtain calls. At the same time, the book is energetically researched, beautifully written-fun, relaxed, sophisticated-and full of serious ideas, boldly stated." -Joan Acocella, dance critic for The New Yorker
"A colorful and erudite view on Russia through the tumultuous history of the sumptuous Bolshoi." -Peter Pomeranzev, author of Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible
"Simon Morrison's Bolshoi Confidential is a magisterial portrait of the art, intrigue and politics buffeting Russia's great cultural institution, the Bolshoi Ballet. From its birth in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars to the corrosive intrigues of the twenty-first century, ballet was the heart of Soviet compliance and attempted resistance. A chilling cautionary tale about the perils of art pressed into the service of dogma and subdued into a servant of the state, Bolshoi Confidential offers fresh details about how deeply and indelibly Stalinist censorship bruised culture, artists and audiences in the USSR." -Janice Ross, author of Like A Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia
"Another marvelously informative book from Simon Morrison, dishing this time on Russia's great musical theater, onstage and off. It is a wonderful read, full of intriguing spectacle and spectacular intrigue." -Richard Taruskin, author of The Oxford History of Western Music
"Simon Morrison has written an engrossing history of one of Russia's most enduring cultural institutions. Bolshoi Confidential deftly shatters the distinctions between high-brow and low-brow, art and politics, authority and violence." -Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana and A World on Fire

"Morrison is a Princeton University music professor and New York Times and New York Review of Books contributor. . . . Bolshoi Confidential turns [Morrison's] keen eye and critical mind on the operatic story of Russia's premier ballet, from 1776 through a recent $680 million renovation and 2013's headline-making acid attack on its artistic director, masterminded by a lead soloist." -Kirkus Reviews

"Bankruptcies, corrosive conflicts, dramatic shifts of power! Simon Morrison's history of the Bolshoi is a treasure. His research is impeccable, his prose captivating. Bolshoi Confidential is a real treat not just for balletomanes, but for anyone fascinated by the intersection between art and politics." -Eva Stachniak, author of The Winter Palace and Empress of the Night
Biographical NoteSIMON MORRISON is a professor of music at Princeton University, a contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, and the author of, most recently, Lina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.