Evreinow, Sergeĭ Aleksandrovich.

Biographical notes:

Sergei Aleksandrovich Evreinow, born in Russia ca. 1895, was an accomplished musician who ran a music distribution business. His own interests are reflected in his correspondence with Ivan Lapshin, Artur Lur'e (Arthur Lourie), and Vladimir Nikolaevich Skriabin, a descendant of the composer. Little further information is available about S. A. Evreinow; the correspondence indicates that he had probably arrived in America at a young age, since he could read N. N. Evreinov's letters in Russian but preferred to reply in French.

Sergei Aleksandrovich was a distant relative of the renowned Russian dramatist, theater director and historian Nikolai Nikolaevich Evreinov. N. N. Evreinov was born February 13/25 1879. He studied music composition under Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov, as a photograph of the three, located among the papers, testifies. In 1907-1908, and again in 1911-1912, N. N. Evreinov directed seasons of antique plays at "Starinnyi teatr"; in 1908 he directed Gabriele d'Annunzio's Francesca di Rimini at V. F. Kommisarzhevskaia's theater, and from 1910 to 1916 he collaborated in the theater "Krivoe zerkalo". These productions not only made him known as a daring and brilliant director and playwright, but also gave him much material for his historical studies of the stage. His ideas of the "theatricalization of life" and the "monodrama" remain influential in modern drama, and some of his plays have been found to presage Expressionism and the theater of the absurd.

After some equivocation, in 1925 Evreinov decided to remain permanently outside Russia. His European renown allowed him to continue his tireless theatrical and publishing activities from Paris. During the 1930s, he worked on several motion pictures in France. In 1935, Evreinov was honored with an invitation to direct at the Paris National Theater. As his letters to S. A. Evreinow show, Evreinov and his wife, Anna Aleksandrovna Kashina-Evreinova, weathered the German occupation and post-war depression quite badly. Still, he continued to write and publish quite prolifically until his death on September 7, 1953.

From the guide to the Sergeĭ Aleksandrovich Evreinow correspondence and papers, 1926-1959, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

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