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Simon Morrison

Guest Speaker

Professional affiliation

Professor of Music, Department of Music, Princeton University

Full Biography

Simon Morrison specializes in 20th-century music, particularly Russian, Soviet, and French music, with special interests in dance, cinema, aesthetics, and historically informed performance based on primary sources. He has conducted archival research in St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Paris, London, New York, Washington DC, Copenhagen, and (most extensively) in Moscow. Recently he has traveled to Tel Aviv, Beijing, Hong Kong, Montreal, Moscow, Copenhagen, and Bangkok to give invited lectures and graduate seminars. 

Professor Morrison maintains a profile as a public intellectual, having published feature articles and opinion pieces in The New York Times, New York Review of Books, Threepenny Review, London Review of Books, and The Times Literary Supplement. He serves as president of the Prokofiev Foundation, and edits the journal Three Oranges, produced under its auspices. In 2016 he finished a history of the Bolshoi Ballet, published by Liveright, the prestigious and storied imprint of W.W. Norton. Future books include studies of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky based on new archival sources.

Major Publications

Morrison is the author of Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement (California, 2002) and The People’s Artist: Prokofiev’s Soviet Years (Oxford, 2009) as well as editor of Prokofiev and His World (Princeton, 2008) and, with Klara Moricz, Funeral Games: In Honor of Arthur Vincent Lourié (Oxford, 2014). His biography of Serge Prokofiev’s first wife, Lina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev (Houghton, 2013), garnered positive reviews in the New Yorker, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, Daily Beast, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. It was also dramatized as the “Book of the Week” on BBC radio and covered on BBC World News television.