This richly illustrated volume from Diana Burgin, author of the acclaimed biography, Performing Life. The Story of Ruth Posselt, American Violinist (Troy Book Makers/UMass Press, 2016), makes available for the first time in print the entire personal correspondence of Richard Burgin (1892-1981), former associate conductor and concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Ruth Posselt (1911-2007), American concert violinist. Their letters, written over a span of thirty-five years, trace the couple’s evolving relationship from first acquaintance to friendship to intimacy to marriage and parenthood, into semi-retirement. The 180 letters, written from 1937 to 1971, prefaced and meticulously annotated by Professor Burgin, reference many important composers, conductors, and classical musicians of the mid-20th century and provide backstage glimpses into the life of the Boston Symphony Orchestra over a quarter century. In the main, however, they narrate a true-life love story of two very different, exceptionally talented violinists who “beat the odds,” so to speak, by managing to combine successful and demanding careers in music with a “happy” forty-year marriage.
Diana Lewis Burgin is Professor of Russian at the University of Massachusetts – Boston. She has published widely on Russian 19th and 20th c literature, culture, and gender studies, has translated numerous works of Russian poetry and prose and is internationally known for her books on the Russian poets, Sophia Parnok and Marina Tsvetaeva. As curator of the Ruth Posselt /Richard Burgin Archives (partially available on www.dianaburgin.com) Professor Burgin has most recently published three books about these well-known American musicians.