The young Dimitri The Emerson String Quartet will collaborate with seven actors in a new theatrical realization, “Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy” at the Seiji Ozawa Hall on Wednesday, July 19 th at 8 PM. Co-commissioned by Tanglewood Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and Princeton University Concerts, the concept premiered at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival on last month. James Glossman, wrote and directed this timely and interesting discourse on the suppressive influence on culture in Stalin’s Russia. A fantasy based on Shostakovich’s 50-year obsession with creating an opera from Anton Chekhov’s short story, “The Black Monk,” this musical play treats the composer’s life-long struggle for freedom and sanity against his own demons. Described by James Glossman as a “ Valentine to the human spirit ,” it reflects on the sarcastic Russian reactions which often inspired Shostakovich. The writer-adapter and the founding violinist from the quartet both responded to our questions. BMInt : Phil, how did this project come about? Philip Setzer : Chekhov wrote, “When a person is born, he can embark on only one of three roads in life: if you go to the right, the wolves will eat you; […]