Additional resources are provided for those wishing to learn more about the history, the music, and the people chronicled in The Nightingale’s Sonata. Film and video resources are listed below. Audio recordings can be found here. Suggestions for further reading can be found here. An alphabetical list of the characters can be found here.
The Author Discusses the Book
New England Authors | Kaleem Nasr interviews author Thomas Wolf about Tom’s new book, The Nightingale’s Sonata. June 27, 2019.
In his first television interview since the release of his book, The Nightingale’s Sonata, Thomas Wolf reminisces affectionately about his grandmother, Lea Luboshutz, her ground-breaking career as an internationally acclaimed female violinist, and her influence on him and his siblings. He discusses the lives of other members of his remarkable musical family — both those who stayed in Russia and those who emigrated — giving glimpses of Russian music history, the impact of anti-Semitism, women in the arts at the turn of the century, and the intersection of family history and family intrigue. The entertaining interview is enlivened with stories and anecdotes that include some of the most famous musicians of the twentieth century.
The Beethoven Violin Sonata no. 9 (“Kreutzer”)
Irene Wolf at 90
Irene Goldovsky Wolf was Lea’s daughter and plays a major role in The Nightingale’s Sonata. On the occasion of her 90th birthday, Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine organized a gala event that included a performance by the violinist, Midori, and a luncheon at which D’Arcy Marsh’s delightful film “Irene at 90” was screened for the first time. In telling her life story in the film, Irene repeats the often told public version of her parents’ relationship as husband and wife though she knows it is untrue. In fact, her father Onissim Goldovsky was married throughout his life to Rashel Khin though he fathered all three of her mother Lea Luboshutz’s children, including Irene.
Andrew Wolf: Variations
Pianist Andrew Wolf was Lea’s grandson and the last family member to perform the Franck sonata in Carnegie Hall. His brilliant career was cut short by his tragic death at the age of 42. In the early 1980s, a public television station in the Boston area did a short feature about Andy that provides not only a sense of him as a person and a musician, but also his association to Lea and his musical family. Several distinguished musicians appear with Andy in the film including violinist Isaac Stern, and three principal string players from the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Stern-Wolf White House Concert | Franck Sonata
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library released this video of a state dinner where Andy appeared with Isaac Stern. Their concert ended with the first two movements of the Franck sonata. There are some unfortunate edits in the video. Nevertheless, it is an opportunity to hear how the two musicians sounded together when they performed this, Andy’s favorite sonata.
The performance of the Franck sonata begins at 19:27.
Boris Goldovsky Memorial & Centennial Events
I | Boris Goldovsky Tanglewood Memorial
During the summer of 2002, a few months after Boris’ death, the Boston Symphony Orchestra produced a memorial event in Ozawa Hall. There were many distinguished speakers but a few who could not make it agreed to send their memories via video and they were assembled in this piece. They include Gary Graffman (pianist and President of the Curtis Institute of Music at the time) and three of Boris’ Curtis Institute classmates (Rose Bampton, Soprano; Eleanor Sokoloff, pianist; and Orlando Cole, cellist and long-time member of the Curtis Quartet).
II | Boris Goldovsky Centennial Event
On October 26, 2008. The New England Conservatory of Music produced a Boris Goldovsky Centennial Event in honor of the hundredth anniversary of Boris’ birth and his long-time association with the institution. When Boris’ 92-year-old sister Irene was invited to present a welcome to the large gathering, she asked whether she might submit a video. The result is a delightful personal history of Boris and their family which turned out to be a perfect introduction to a celebratory day.
Three quarters of a century after Lea Luboshutz came to Rockport, Maine for the first time to help establish the Curtis Institute of Music summer colony, Otter Island Films produced a documentary about the history of Rockport’s musical community and Lea’s family’s involvement in its sustenance. The film is based on a book by the same name (Musical Gifts) by Thomas Wolf.
Joey: A Profile of Joseph Silverstein
Silverstein was the long-time concertmaster of the Boston Symphony and a noted conductor and pedagogue. He is also an important character in The Nightingale’s Sonata, playing the final family performance of the Franck sonata with Andrew Wolf. This film, entitled Joey, captures not only his immense musical gifts but his engaging personality.
D’Arcy Marsh Films and the Curtis Institute of Music produced this profile of Eleanor Sokoloff on her 100th birthday. A member of the Curtis faculty for decades, this remarkable piano pedagogue was a teacher of Andrew Wolf, Lea’s grandson, and a close friend of Irene Wolf, Lea’s daughter. It features several distinguished musicians as well as Sokoloff students and offers glimpses of actual teaching sessions.