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VIDEO: Richard Kogan, M.D., on The Mind and Music of Tchaikovsky


Photo: Richard Kogan, M.D.Richard Kogan, M.D., was scheduled to deliver a talk on “Tchaikovsky: Music and Melancholy,” at the APA Annual Meeting in April. It was to be part of a series of lecture-performances that he has presented over the years at APA’s Annual Meetings on the connections between musical artistry and mental illness.

While that live presentation did not happen this year as the APA meeting was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Kogan created a video of a short version of his talk on Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. During the 30-minute presentation, Kogan explores the life and music of Tchaikovsky and performs the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

 “Tchaikovsky’s music is the indelible outgrowth of his mental state,” Kogan told Psychiatric News earlier this year. “His glorious ballets, for example, reflect an idealized fantasy world where he could escape his real-world despondency.”

Among Tchaikovsky’s most well-known ballets are “Swan Lake,” “The Sleeping Beauty” and “The Nutcracker.” Tchaikovsky’s struggles with his sexual orientation contributed to his depression. “He was a gay man living in Russia at a time when such behavior was punished by banishment to Siberia,” Kogan notes. “He was terrified of the implications and did everything to hide the truth.”

For more,  view Dr. Kogan’s presentation on Tchaikovsky.




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