Press Room

Soprano Olga Orlovskaya and Pianist Vera Danchenko-Stern Perform Russian Themed Concert

Sep 07 2010

The National Museum of Women in the Arts presents a special evening of Russian Love Songs, from Tchaikovsky’s “It Happened in the Early Spring” to Zubov’s “Don’t Go Away,” featuring acclaimed Russian soprano Olga Orlovskaya with noted pianist Vera Danchenko-Stern and jazz pianist Victor Prudovsky. This free recital, part of NMWA’s Shenson Chamber Music Concert Series, will be held October 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the museum’s performance hall at 1250 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.

Olga Orlovskaya, soprano

Great-granddaughter of Feodor Chaliapin, the most famous Russian opera singer of the 20th century, Olga Orlovskaya descends from a long line of talented musicians. The dramatic coloratura soprano graduated with honors from the Gnesin Academy of Music in Moscow. She received special recognition in the 2008 “Operetta Land” competition in Moscow when she won the special prize for best performance.

Ms. Orlovskaya has performed solo concerts in Paris, Dresden, Brussels, Luxembourg, and Geneva. She made her debut in the United States in 2006 with the role of Adele in Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus with the Stanislavsky Opera of Moscow in a fifty city tour. Other roles have included Katerina in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk, Violetta in La Traviata, Rusalka in Dvorak’s Rusalka, and Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte. Besides performing, she is also the founder and artistic director of the quartet The Russian Sopranos.

Vera Danchenko-Stern, piano

Vera Danchenko-Stern was born in Moscow into a family of professional musicians and graduated from the Gnesin Academy of Music with honors in piano, solo performance, chamber music, vocal and instrumental accompaniment. Since emigrating in 1979, she has served on the faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and Catholic University in Washington. Throughout her career, she has toured as an accompanist for distinguished musicians, including her brother, world-renowned violinist Viktor Danchenko, as well as singers Sergei Leiferkus, Nikita Storojev, and Medea Namoradze. With two alumnae of the Peabody Conservatory, soprano Susan Harwood and mezzo-soprano Patricia Green, Ms. Danchenko-Stern has founded a group called Trio Lyrica. She also serves as a Russian diction coach for the Washington National Opera.

Introducing Russian music to American audiences has long been a significant project for Ms. Danchenko-Stern. She started teaching the course “Singing in Russian” at the Peabody Conservatory and later encouraged the entire voice faculty’s participation in the "Evening of Slavic Songs" sung in five different Slavic languages. In 2005 she founded the Russian Chamber Art Society, which presents Russian vocal music rarely heard in America.

Victor Prudovsky, piano

Victor Prudovsky, born in Moscow, was nominated by Tourne magazine as best jazz pianist in his native country. He has performed throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.

About Shenson Chamber Music Concert Series

Currently in its 13th season, the Shenson Chamber Music Concerts highlight the work of women musicians. Named in honor of Drs. Ben and A. Jess Shenson, long-time supporters of the museum and lovers of music, the series contributes to the museum’s mission of recognizing and supporting women in all areas of the arts. Shenson Chamber Music Concerts are partially supported by a generous gift from Fred M. Levin and Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation, in memory of Drs. Ben and A. Jess Shenson. A special thank you to the Hon. Mary V. Mochary for enabling NMWA to once again offer these concerts free of charge. The Russian Concert is being held in memory of Fahimé Esfandiary Akba.

All Shenson Concerts are Free. Reservations are required: call 202-783-7370 or e-mail

The Program
“Lullaby” /Op. 16 No 1Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
“A Soul Was Quietly Flying High up in Heaven” /Op. 47 No 2
“I Am Not a Blade in the Field” /Op. 47 No. 7
“It Happened in the Early Spring” /Op. 38 No. 2
“A Nightingale Enchanted by a Rose” /Op. 2 No. 2Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov
“The Nymph” /Op. 56 No. 1
“Oh, Do Not Sing to Me” /Op. 4 No. 4Sergei Rakhmaninov
“The Lilacs” /Op. 21 No. 5
“How Fair This Place” /Op. 21 No. 7
“The Answer” /Op. 21 No. 4
“I Wait for Thee” /Op. 14 No. 1
“The Nightingale”Alexander Alabiev
“To Love You, to Embrace You and Cry Over You”N. Shyryayev
“Fragrant Clusters of White Acacia”V. Basner
“Don’t Go Away”N. Zubov
“The Two of Us, The Whole Evening on Your Porch”B. Mokrousov
“Echo of Love”E. Ptichkin
“The Chrysanthemums”N. Hareeto
“I Was Going Home”M. Poire
“And Finally I’ll Say”A. Petrov
“Wicket Gate”A. Obukhov
“Looking at the Rays of a Violet Sunset”A. Oppel
“Once Only”B. Fomin
“By the Long Road” (Those Were the Days)
“Dark Eyes”Music by unknown, Arr. by S. Gerdal


National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), founded in 1981 and opened in 1987, is the only museum solely dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the visual, performing and literary arts. The museum’s permanent collection features 4,000 works from the 16th century to the present created by more than 1,000 artists; including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, and Chakaia Booker along with special collections of 18th-century silver tableware and botanical prints. NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., in a landmark building near the White House. It is open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. For information, call 202-783-5000 or visit Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and Free for NMWA Members and youth 18 and under.

National Museum of Women in the Arts