Whether you just like borscht or are a Russologist, the music of Russia’s 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries is some of the most brilliant, deeply moving, and technically difficult of all time. Yet, we Westerners know little about the roots of this huge body of work. Russia was a late starter in developing a native tradition of classical music due to the suppression of secular music by the Orthodox Church. Peter the Great saw European music as a mark of Civilization and a way of Westernizing his country. Thus began a focus on European music, which meant Russian composers had to learn and write in the Western style and follow Western music theory rules of composition. Join this study group as we journey through Russian music history from early folk songs through the Classical, Romantic, and Modern periods best recognized for works of great renown. We will be guided by the music and lives of the composers themselves using visual and audio media, contemporary readings, and listening to their music. This is a study group for music devotees and those who would just like to explore a musical heritage little known to many Westerners.