the Nightingale’s Sonata

Narrative Timeline

 
 

PLEASE NOTE: For characters whose names appear more than once, the first time the name appears, both the first and last names are provided in bold.  Thereafter only one name is provided.


1795 

Creation of the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire

1853 

César Franck begins writing a sonata for violin and piano but abandons it

1861 

Emancipation of the serfs in Russia

1864 

Zemstvo reforms allow limited self-government in the Russian provinces

1865 

Birth of Onissim Goldovsky in Vilnius

1865 

Birth of Katherine (“Gitel”) Katzman, Odessa (Lea’s mother)

1881 

Gitel marries Saul Luboshutz

Reformist Tsar Alexander II assassinated by terrorists; pogroms follow

1885 

Birth of Lea Luboshutz in Odessa to Gitel and Saul

1886

Franck completes the violin sonata and dedicates it to Eugène Ysaÿe who plays the first performance at his own wedding

Onissim spends the summer in Bryansk and is jailed for writing a letter critical of the authorities

1887 

Birth of Anna Luboshutz (Lea’s sister)

Onissim graduates from Moscow Imperial University Law Faculty and begins practicing law

1888 

Onissim meets Rashel Khin through legal work for her family

1890 

Birth of Pierre Luboshutz (Lea’s brother)

1893

Lea begins violin studies with Emil Mlynarski in Odessa

1896 

Gitel takes Lea to Moscow to study at the Moscow Conservatory

1900 

Onissin marries Rashel

1903 

Lea graduates from the Moscow Conservatory, winning the Gold Medal

Lea meets Onissim; they play the Franck sonata together; he agrees to become her patron

1904 

Lea spends the summer in Belgium studying with Ysaÿe

Anna begins her cello studies at the Moscow Conservatory 

1905 

January: Tsarist troops massacre unarmed protesters in St. Petersburg, triggering uprisings across the Russian Empire

November–December: Onissim and Rashel decamp to Paris with Rashel’s son (Misha); Lea joins them

1906 

Onissim, Rashel, Misha, and Lea return to Moscow

Onissim writes numerous important publications including Against the Death Penalty and The Jews of Moscow

1907 

Onissim and Lea’s son Yuri Goldovsky is born

October: Lea goes on tour to New York appearing in Carnegie Hall; her performance schedule is cut short owing to her discovery that she is again pregnant

Pierre begins piano studies at the Moscow Conservatory

1908 

Onissim and Lea’s second son, Boris Goldovsky, is born

Anna graduates from the Moscow Conservatory, winning a Gold Medal

1909 

Onissim divides his residence between Rashel’s and Lea’s apartments

March: Onissim and Rashel go to London

The Luboshutz Trio plays concerts across Russia

1910 

Anna and Lea play at Tolstoy’s memorial service in Moscow

1913 

Onissim purchases a Moscow mansion as residence for him and Rashel in part to help save his marriage

Anna marries Nikolai Shereshevsky

1914 

August: Germany declares war on Russia

1915 

Anna and Nikolai’s twin children, Nadezhda and Sergei, are born

1917 

February: Revolution breaks out in St. Petersburg

March: Tsar Nicolas II abdicates

October: Vladimir Lenin returns to St. Petersburg from exile

November: The Bolsheviks announced that they have seized power; they nationalize all banks and industry, as well as abolishing private property 

December: The Bolshevik secret police, the CHEKA, is created; there are mass arrests of aristocrats, professionals, and non-Bolshevik political activists; Onissim called in for questioning

December: Onissim and Lea’s daughter, Irina Goldovsky, is born

1918 

July: The Tsar and his family are murdered in Siberia

Lea, Pierre, and Boris play “workers’ concerts”

1919 

Anna plays for Red Army units in the Russian Civil War

Lea takes Yuri, Boris, and Irina to Odessa to stay with her parents

1920 

Anti-Bolshevik “White” forces are defeated by the Red Army in most of Russia

Lea brings Yuri and Boris back to Moscow; Gitel follows with Irina

1921 

Onissim again called in for questioning; Lea and Onissim hatch a plan to leave Russia

Lea and Boris depart for Berlin on a concert tour with the idea that the rest of the family will follow when they can

1922 

January: Lea and Boris debut with the Berlin Philharmonic and secure management with the Wolff & Sachs agency

1922 

Death of Onissim in Moscow

Irina arrives in Berlin followed by Gitel and Saul

1923 

Lea is discovered in an affair with Leonid Kreutzer; decides to move to Paris

Boris begins studies with Artur Schnabel

Yuri matriculates at Moscow University at the age of 16 and decides to stay in Russia

1924 

January: Death of Lenin

Pierre joins the family in Paris

Lea appears with Fyodor Chaliapin at the Palais Garnier in Paris, plays Franck sonata; is invited to tour the United States by Sol Hurok who agrees to be her manager

1925 

Lea meets Josef Hofmann aboard ship and they perform the Franck sonata

Death of Saul

Lea plays New York debut of Prokofiev violin concerto at Carnegie Hall with Ernst von Dohnanyi conducting

Lea begins touring with Hofmann

1926 

Boris starts studying with Dohnanyi in Budapest

Pierre tours the United States with Efrem Zimbalist and others

1927 

Lea plays the Franck Sonata at the Curtis Institute of Music with Hofmann and is asked to join the faculty

Lea plays the Franck sonata with Hofmann at Carnegie Hall

1928 

Lea acquires the “Nightingale” Stradivarius with the confidential assistance of Aaron Naumberg

Irina arrives to reside permanently with Lea in the U.S.

Irina Goldovsky’s name anglicized to Irene

Gitel joins Lea to reside in the U.S. and take care of Irene

1929 

Mary Curtis Bok begins to develop the Curtis Institute summer colony in Rockport, Maine

August: Stock market crash triggers the Great Depression

1930 

Boris arrives in the United States and spends the summer with the family in Maine

1931 

Boris enters the Curtis Institute of Music

Yuri is named an Assistant Professor at the Bauman Technical University in Moscow

Pierre tours the United States with Gregor Piatigorsky

Pierre marries his piano student Genia Nemenoff and they move permanently to New York

Birth of Dmitri Goldovsky (Lea’s first grandchild), the son of Yuri and Natalya Goldovsky, followed almost immediately by the death of Yuri in a mountain climbing accident

1932 

Irene meets Walter (“Billy”) Wolf, a Philadelphia businessman, after one of Lea’s concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra

1933 

Anna recognized as an Honored Artist of the Russian Federation

Irene marries Billy

Boris marries Margaret Codd, an opera singer who studied at the Curtis Institute

1935 

Lea and Irene become U.S. citizens

1936 

Pierre and Genia give their first duo-piano concert as Luboshutz & Nemenoff, beginning a long and successful joint career

1938 

Summer: Genia’s parents, Aaron and Marie Nemenoff, visit from Paris

1939 

Anna honored by the Moscow Philharmonic

September: World War II breaks out

1940 

Boris invited by Serge Koussevitzky to join Tanglewood faculty in Boston Symphony Orchestra Berkshire Music Center summer program in Western Massachusetts

June: Death of Gitel

November: Lea performs the Beethoven triple concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra with two other female soloists

1941 

Efrem Zimbalist becomes Director of the Curtis Institute

1942 

Boris moves to Boston to work at Harvard University, the New England Conservatory, and the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, spending summers at Tanglewood

1943 

Genia’s parents, Aaron and Marie, are rounded up in Paris and deported to Auschwitz where they are murdered

Birth of Andrew (“Andy”) Wolf (Irene’s son; Lea’s grandson)

1945 

The Curtis Institute’s Rockport summer program closes; Lea purchases Mary-Lea Cottage in Rockport and spends the remaining summers of her life there

Birth of Thomas (“Tom”) Wolf (Irene’s son; Lea’s grandson)

November: Lea plays her final concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra

1946 

Boris establishes the New England Opera Theatre

1947 

Anna gives her final concert and retires

Lea retires from teaching and concertizing

1953 

Nikolai Shereshevsky is arrested in Moscow on trumped-up charges of being involved in the “Doctors’ Plot” to murder Soviet leaders

March: Death of Stalin; Nikolai and others implicated in the “Doctors’ Plot” are released

1954 

Lea plays a post-retirement recital with Boris at the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston

Boris wins a Peabody Award for his radio show

Dmitri and Natalya’s daughter, Marina Dmitrovna Goldovsky, born in Moscow, Lea first great grandchild

1955 

February: Lea plays in public for the last time at an event celebrating her 70th birthday in Philadelphia accompanied by Boris

Soviet violinist David Oistrakh tours the United States and visits Lea, bringing news of Anna

1956 

Irene suffers nervous breakdown

Boris, Pierre, and Genia tour with their Three-Piano Mozart Festival concerts

1960 

Andy Wolf and Tom Wolf play their first joint recital

1961 

Death of Nikolai

Tom and Andy Wolf establish the Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine

1962 

Tom debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra

Andy leaves Columbia University and is accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music by Rudolf Serkin

August: Andy plays his first performance of the Franck Sonata in Maine

1963 

Andy debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra

Andy plays first concert in Carnegie Hall

1965 

Death of Lea

1966 

The Nightingale Stradivarius is sold to Lea’s pupil, Rafael Druian, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra

1967 

Anna is honored with a public ceremony in Moscow, hosted by Mstislav Rostropovich

1971 

Death of Pierre

Tom joins Boris’ opera company as flutist and touring manager

1975 

Anna dies in Moscow

1976 

Andy begins touring with major international artists leading to his association with violinist Isaac Stern

1977 

Boris is named head of the Opera Department at the Curtis Institute of Music

1979 

Boris publishes his autobiography, My Road to Opera

1983

Andy plays Franck sonata with Isaac Stern at Carnegie Hall

1984 

January: Andy plays Franck sonata at White House with Isaac Stern

Boris retires

May: Andy diagnosed with a brain tumor

1985 

January: Andy plays the Franck Sonata in Boston for the last time

December: Death of Andy

1989 

Death of Genia

1990 

Irene travels to Moscow and meets Goldovsky family members but does not locate the Luboshutz family

1992 

Marya Fogel (Irene’s granddaughter) meets Anna Luboshutz and Nikolai Shereshevsky’s daughter (Nadezhda Pugachevich), granddaughter (Nina Yuriev), and great granddaughter, (Svetlana Kuzin) in Moscow

1995 

Nina and Svetlana visit the Lubushutz-Wolf family in the United States

2001 

Death of Boris

2002 

Death of Billy

2010 

Death of Irene

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The Luboshutz family circa 1911   From left to right: Lea with Boris, Katherine (“Gitel”) with Yuri, Pierre, and Anna Luboshutz. Courtesy of the Luboshutz-Goldovssky-Wolf family archive.
 

The Luboshutz family circa 1911
From left to right: Lea with Boris, Katherine (“Gitel”) with Yuri, Pierre, and Anna