Alexander Ermakov received the State prize in literature and art “For the creation of the Museum-estate of Sergei Rachmaninov “Ivanovka” and educational activities”.
How is it that you his life was connected with the “Ivanovka”?
Aleksandr Ermakov In 1971, I was “landing” of the Central Committee of the Komsomol – the young teachers from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine – came to work in the topsoil. I offered to stay in Tambov, but I said to go to the village! Chairman of the kolkhoz grabbed me: come on in Ivanovka – we school opened and no teachers! Got off the train in district Uvarovo – mud to the knee. I met a member of the district Board: where are you? I told him on the legs show where boots sell! In Uvarovo hotels was not only a farmer’s House, where I was the only guest. The room was a basin, it dripped from the ceiling. The next morning the foreman took me in the back in Ivanovka. Asphalt was not, and 19 km we drove four and a half hours. At the new school, which is only three months since it opened, we worked from dark until dark to all the painted, sculpted benefits.
Room-Museum of Rachmaninov in this school already was?
Aleksandr Ermakov In the three years before my arrival in Tambov Museum of local lore have made in Ivanovka, at the House of culture, a photo exhibition about Rachmaninoff, and when the school was built, it was moved there. About Rachmaninoff I knew for a long time: sister loved music, and this is her favorite composer. Once in Ivanovka, I was shocked: it worked Rachmaninoff, 28 years lived, but what if I wanted someone to cut down a tree cut down. Wanted manure dumped – dumped. The manor was turned into a dump and pasture. I was very angry, gathered high school students and we began to drive cattle, forbidden to cut trees in the estate.
Is from the estate anything salvageable?
Aleksandr Ermakov there are No buildings, no foundations! Since Sergei Vasilyevich, there are only two oak and maple. In 1972, the farm with the financial support of Muzfond, the Soviet Union and the Society of protection of monuments of history and culture (if they really were doing something) laid the first Foundation of an outbuilding. Then the first Secretary of the party Committee of the Uvarov was Alexander Ryabov. I drove from Moscow from the niece of Rachmaninov samovar. The mud is terrible, it’s hard to walk and carrying a backpack with a samovar and books. I took off his shoes, climbed a birch tree and secured it on top of the backpack. And then stops “UAZ”, the man goes: “what are You doing? I was the first Secretary”. – “So what? I am a teacher from Ivanovka”. – “What’s in the backpack?” – “Books and the samovar for the Museum.” He gave me a ride: “Come with suggestions for Ivanivka”. I came with my folders. And in 1978, in Ivanivka is a House-Museum of Rachmaninov as a branch of the Tambov regional Museum. I was appointed its head.
what you had in mind a concept of development of the Museum?
Aleksandr Ermakov I started the Museum because I was angry: all over the world know Rachmaninoff, as it happens! And I just got lucky. The first in the fate of the village intervened Irina Konstantinovna Arkhipova, they have paved road and recreated the manor in the Botanical garden, we picked up plants for the Park. A Red maple avenues. In 1991, thanks to Yuri Pavlovich Rachmaninoff, the Grand-nephew of the composer, the construction of the main house. He spent in the Museum of gas, replaced the transmission line, there was a rotten pillars: just the wind blows – the whole village without electricity. Many of the “cultural figures” believed that it makes no sense to completely rebuild the manor. Enough to put a sign: “here stood the house, there was a hut.” With this concept I did not agree.
the manor is now coming largest Russian musicians not only to play shows n o and really help the house by Rachmaninoff.
Aleksandr Ermakov: Without our friends would not have today’s Ivanovka. Nikolay Lvovich Luhansk for 20 years plays charity concerts. With his own money he built a guest house where they can stay performers, holds the international festival of Rachmaninoff, deals with gifted children. Many years with concerts coming Sergey Senkov from the Gnessin Academy. The Timchenko Foundation has gained us a concert Grand Steinway, the Fund helps with the Exemplary publication of scientific literature, CDs. A great friend of Ivanovka – Mikhail Vasilyevich Pletnev. He held our festival with the Russian national orchestra, brought to the stage and own the piano. Last year he built at his own expense a Summer theater, which can be a Symphony orchestra. Place for the night, however, the orchestra is nowhere.
As the lack of infrastructure, hotels, practically in the field, managed to organize the concert life?
Aleksandr Ermakov: I am extremely grateful and visiting artists: no one asked, no fees, no money for the road. All my stress is to take, provide nutrition. Accommodation Lugansk we have done: guest house for seven people. And now the question of accommodation is solved: all agricultural land around the village has acquired holding “Dominant” and we managed to agree with his leadership that they will build a hotel. By the end of next year everything should be done.
You said that your dream – to create in Ivanivka festival level Verbier. Do you still believe in such a prospect?
Aleksandr Ermakov We go this way. Some ideas Ivanovka, by the way, is embodied in Verbier, and something we can spy on them. In Ivanivka annually Lilac festival, which this year canceled because of a pandemic, as the festival to mark the 95th anniversary of Irina Arkhipova. I hope that in August still held the Rachmaninov festival. Unlike Verbier, our musical summer lasts a month, and from may to October.
in three years we will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of Rachmaninoff. Ivanivka has become a place of key events – what do you have planned?
Aleksandr Ermakov We presented to the Ministry of culture program for the anniversary, but I have to say: I used to count the pennies. We were able to restore six buildings – with friends Ivanovka. For the restoration of the outbuilding, the government allocated only 21 percent of the cost. Pantry, garage, garden house, backyard house, we were restored without a penny from the state. Now we have won almost all the land that historically belonged to the manor. Nikolay Lvovich Lugansk and our friends helped to buy the old farm club, and we do repairs to create a music room. Left to win half a hectare of our land, sold to the Moscow firm. Why do I say this? Competitions and festivals will leave pleasant memories, but the main is better to put the money on something tangible! We have nowhere to play gigs and doing exhibitions – not Ivanovka without the exhibition and concert hall! The artists come level Luhansk or Pletnev, playing on the terrace and I look at the sky, and I was shaking: it will rain or not? And most importantly, we should continue the reconstruction of the manor. When Sergey Vasilyevich in Ivanivka there were 24 buildings! In my life I recovered only six. You should at least for the anniversary to restore that prepared the project: office, Chinese pavilion, a human, a barn. It is necessary to return the estate to be what she saw Rachmaninoff. More such opportunities to help Ivanovka will not.
However you prepare for the anniversary memorial, scientific and publishing projects?
Aleksandr Ermakov We wrote in 15 cities, who loved Sergey, where he toured with the request to immortalise his name. I’m not asking to rename the street is expensive. But in Peter, for example, a music school of a name of Rakhmaninov, and a few hundred meters from her cozy garden – what is his name Rachmaninoff! And I’ll do that whole Peter in the spring will strive in this Park. St. Petersburg will persuade musicians to put a bust of Sergey Vasilyevich. While the response to our offer no. Positive answers came from Samara, Saratov, Odessa, from the President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili. She promises that the anniversary in Tbilisi will appear in the area Rachmaninov.
the estate Oneg in the Novgorod region, where childhood Rachmaninoff, tie up any projects?
Aleksandr Ermakov In the Novgorod is a beautiful monument to Rachmaninoff, ��St street, College festivals and competitions in his name. But nobody wants to do Onega. In 1968, Marina N. Gritsenko put the stele on the spot where was the home of a family of Rachmaninov, that stopped. In 2015 on the estate have cut dry trees, outlined avenues, conducted archaeological excavations – and all. I until November of last year have not made their inventory books 27 items of Onega, which we managed to find it, waited for that they will need in Onega. But after the speech of the Novgorod Governor at a press conference where he said that the money for Oneg no, just think about the words he addressed to the Sergei Vasilyevich said! – I put these things in your inventory Ivanovka. In Novgorod, all are silent. They publish books – well done, but the main do not. Their Director of culture said to me, to attract tourists, the temples enough.
And in Ivanivka that’s new for the anniversary will be?
Aleksandr Ermakov are Preparing to release a “Chronicle of life and works of Rachmaninoff,” in four volumes – the joint work of the Museum-reserve “Ivanivka”, Institute of art and the National Museum of music. 2023-th – the year of the 150th anniversary of Fyodor Chaliapin and Antonina Nezhdanova. Along with Chalepensis center, National Museum of music and Museum-dacha of Shalyapin in Kislovodsk we publish a collection of notes of Rachmaninoff’s repertoire of Chaliapin and lavishly illustrated booklet of “Rachmaninoff and Chaliapin”.
Appears music collection with the “Vocalise”, which Rachmaninoff wrote for Nezhdanova: there will be original and transcriptions made for the different instruments. Together with the Tambov Department of culture and Archives of Tambov region are preparing large volume of documents telling about the kind of Rahmaninova about their links with the Tambov. And a marathon of concerts dedicated to the Year of Rachmaninoff, will start in Ivanivka December 1, 2022 and will end on 20 January 2024. The agreement gave almost all of our outstanding musicians.
If you imagine that Rachmaninoff himself would like to have for the anniversary, to remember that until the end of his life he wanted to be in Ivanivka.
Aleksandr Ermakov I’m trying to prove it all his life. The state never large not invested in Ivanovka. And then, for the first time in history, the decree of January 25, 2020, the President of Russia outlined the value of a name of Sergey Rakhmaninov. Created the organizing Committee for the celebration of the anniversary. I very much hope that the decree will be fulfilled, that Rakhmaninov anniversary organizing Committee will meet, what we will leave after the anniversary of Rachmaninoff importantly, that we will not be ashamed before our descendants.
Alexander Ermakov – Director of the Museum-reserve of S. V. Rachmaninov “Ivanivka”, having reconstructed the Park and part of the buildings of the estate Satiny of Rachmaninov, looted and destroyed during the civil war. Thanks to his efforts, purchased of unique memorabilia and Antiques, allowing to recreate the spirit of the estate “Ivanovka”. Is the initiator and organizer of international musical festivals, exhibitions in Russia, Switzerland, England, France, dedicated to Rachmaninoff. The author, head of publishing projects, scientific and educational publications.