Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music


Music Performance

First Advisor

Joseph Rackers


Nicolas Medtner was a composer born out of his time. He was a true Romantic in the Russian Silver Age and his creative ideology owes much to the Romantic poetry that he was devoted to all his life. This poetry put a decisive stamp on his music and influenced his career decisions. Medtner was exposed to the most renowned literature from an early age. Influenced by his father, and his oldest brother Emil, he developed a lifelong love for literature and especially poetry. Literary connections are apparent throughout Medtner’s music, including (and not limited to) references to Goethe, Pushkin, Lermontov, Tyutchev, Fet, Nietzsche, and Shakespeare. The influence of poetry on his personality, philosophy, and piano compositions is discussed in this document. A clearer understanding of the intrinsic connections Medtner’s music has with poetry will further aid the enjoyment of the listener and help the performer conceive an imaginative and effective interpretation of Medtner’s piano music.