U.S. composer performs piano concerto in memory of Kursk submarine

On Thursday, St. Petersburg hosts a premiere of a piano concerto by the US composer Denis Aberhard, who wrote it in memory of sailors from the nuclear submarine Kursk, which sank in the Barents Sea in August 2000. The concert is being staged in St. Petersburg's Shostakovich Academic Philharmonic Society.

When the submarine sank, Aberhard was in the process of writing a new composition, said a source in St. Petersburg's State Academic Choir. Russia's tragic experience shocked him so much that he decided to dedicate his work to the Kursk sailors.

The piano concerto draws a parallel between the loss of the Russian submarine and the 1986 catastrophe with the US spaceship Challenger. The parallel is made visible by the epigraph to the concerto, which contains a line from "Requiem for Challenger" by the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and by the composition's name, "The Swan's Shadow," an image that also came from Yevtushenko's poem.