PIANIST MARIA YUDINA: HOLY FOOL

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

Maria Yudina (1899-1970), Russian pianist, was openly Orthodox under Communism; a “holy fool” who gave her money to the poor and once responded, legend has it, to a middle-of-the-night summons by Stalin to play Mozart’s Concerto No. 23.

Born to Jewish family in the town of Nevel, in the western part of Russia, her first diary entry, at the age of seventeen reads, “Arrived in Petrograd to start living my life for ART.”

She converted to the Russian-Orthodox church in 1919 and was dismissed from the Petrograd Conservatory in 1930 for replying “Yes” when asked whether she believed in God. She wore a large cross while performing in public, a demonstration of faith that, in Communist Russia, could easily have earned her a death sentence.

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

4 Replies to “PIANIST MARIA YUDINA: HOLY FOOL”

  1. Hi Heather,
    I love what she said to Stalin. If only I had such courage to be a holy fool. Did you know you can listen to Maria on YouTube?
    Ron

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Oh yeah…there’s a great documentary about her, too, not beautifull produced but fascinating…

  2. Heather, You introduce me to so many interesting people! Thank you! And yes ! To be so Brave as to speak the truth to such a powerful man in dangerous times! I like that she thought the ocean was knee deep! She knew the depths of truth are infinitely deep so of course the ocean is nothing compared.
    Thanks again and I enjoy your articles so much.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Aw thanks, Gloria–Maria Yudina has been in my sights for some time. I wrote a piece on her years ago for Magnificat and then realized, or rather it was pointed out to me, that she was Orthodox, not Roman Catholic, so they wouldn’t run her. But that is the beauty of the Angelus column, in which I can run all manner of people who are seeking, or sought, beauty, truth and love…

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