“The Golden Age of Russian Guitar”
Oleg Vitalyevich Timofeyev, is an American musicologist and musician of Russian origin, specializing in lute and Russian guitar. He is best known for his pioneering work in the discovery, promotion, interpretation, and authentic performance of the repertoire for the 19th- and 20th-century Russian seven-string guitar.
Timofeyev comes from a musical family, being the son of cellist Natalia Timofeyeva. He began his study of the classical guitar in the early 1980s under the tutelage of Kamill Frauchi, about whom he later produced a documentary film, Frautschi (Timofeyev & Gölz 2008). He holds an M.A. in Early Music Performance from the University of Southern California (1993), and a Ph.D. in Performance Practice from Duke University (1999) (Timofeyev 1999). Since 1983 he has been performing early music on authentic instruments of the plucked family (lute, guitar). In 1989 his musical interests brought him to the U.S., where he studied with Patrick O’Brien, James Tyler, and Hopkinson Smith.
Timofeyev has performed and taught widely in Europe and the United States. A recipient of numerous scholarly awards, including IREX and Fulbright fellowships, he has taught and lectured at Maimonides State Academy (Moscow), Duke University, the University of Kansas, Northwestern University, Princeton University, the University of Iowa, Grinnell College, and the Smithsonian.
Since earning his doctorate he has worked for the revival of Russian music played with authentic technique on the seven-string guitar, often in collaboration with other artists, including the Russian Roma guitarist Sasha Kolpakov, the Kolpakov Trio (Timofeyev, Kolpakov Trio and Talisman 2005), and the American guitarist John Schneiderman (Timofeyev and Schneiderman 2006). Among the fruits of his research has been his rediscovery and recording the music of Matvej Pavlov-Azancheev (1888-1963), who was among the rare composers for the seven-string guitar in the first half of the twentieth century.