Simon Morrison

Simon Morrison specializes in 20th-century music, particularly Russian, Soviet, and French music, with special interests in dance, cinema, aesthetics, and historically informed performance based on primary sources. He has conducted archival research in St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Paris, London, New York, Washington DC, Copenhagen, and (most extensively) in Moscow. He has traveled to Tel Aviv, Beijing, Hong Kong, Montreal, Moscow, Copenhagen, and Bangkok to give invited lectures and graduate seminars, and divides his time between Princeton and Los Angeles.

Morrison is the author of Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement (California, 2002, 2019), The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev (Houghton, 2013), and The People’s Artist: Prokofiev’s Soviet Years (Oxford, 2009) as well as editor of Prokofiev and His World (Princeton, 2008) and, with Klara Moricz, Funeral Games: In Honor of Arthur Vincent Lourié (Oxford, 2014).

Professor Morrison maintains a profile as a public intellectual by continuing to write books and feature articles, giving interviews and lectures in his areas of expertise, as well as assisting in ballet and theatre productions.




Simon Morrison is an acclaimed public speaker equally in demand by academic and general audiences. Among his subjects of expertise are the history of ballet in France, Russia, and the United States; the music of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich; politics and culture in the Soviet Union, Russia, France, and the United States; Russian culture under Putin; cultural exchange between the Soviet Union and the United States; imperial culture under the Russian tsars; and current trends in Russian music and dance. 

He is sought after as a pre-concert lecturer, having been lauded at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Opera in particular. He has spoken extensively on the music of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Debussy, Musorgsky, Beethoven, Poulenc, and many other beloved composers.

Morrison is a favored guest on radio and television programs worldwide, including broadcasts in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, the UK, and United States.

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